Château Pavie Macquin, Saint-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé B

Château Pavie Macquin, Saint-Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé B, 2018

  • icon-type Type

    Red

  • icon-year Year

    2018

  • icon-style Style

    Dry

  • icon-country Country

    France

  • icon-alcohollevel Alcohol level

    14.5%

  • icon-grapevariety Grape variety
    Merlot 78%, Cabernet Franc 20%, Cabernet Sauvignon 2%
  • Rating

    RP 97, WS 98

This terroir of strong clay on limestone bedrock produces a powerful, fleshy wine with minerality, freshness and generosity. The Pavie Macquin grape types, predominately Merlot, have found their perfect home in strong clay soils. The molasses soils combined with asteriated limestone give the wines power and tension, as well as a deep meatiness. The ancient colluvial soils containing silt add a touch of lightness whilst retaining the mineral tension from the limestone.

The Cabernet Franc is in its rightful place in limestone soils, with bare rock, which warm up quicker, allowing the grape variety to develop all its excellence and give the blend its ‘backbone’ and complexity. The wine is topped off with 2% old-vine Cabernet Sauvignon.

About Château Pavie Macquin

Château Pavie-Macquin is a Bordeaux wine from the appellation Saint-Émilion, ranked Premier grand cru classé B in the Classification of Saint-Émilion wine.

The winery is one of three Pavie estates, along with Château Pavie and Château Pavie-Decesse, located in the Right Bank of France’s Bordeaux wine region in the commune of Saint-Émilion in the department Gironde. Having risen in esteem in the 1990s, it was promoted to Premier Grand Cru Classé in 2006.

The château also produces a second wine named Les Chênes de Macquin (The Oaks of Macquin).

Once a part of the large estate of Ferdinand Bouffard, a 19th-century Bordeaux négociant, it was acquired by Albert Macquin, also the owner of the neighbouring Château La Serre, who would become known as a pioneer in the battle against phylloxera, and whose vines at Pavie-Macquin were among the very first to be grafted onto American rootstocks. After studying viticulture at the Ecole d'Agriculture in Montpellier, Macquin was aware of the new techniques involving grafting the phylloxera resistant Vitis labrusca American rootstock onto the Vitis vinifera vines. While neighbouring Chateaux were still looking for a cure to heal the infected vines, Macquin set about replanting his entire vineyard with the more resistant rootstock and was able to rebound more quickly from the phylloxera epidemic that plagued the Bordeaux wine industry.

In Henri Enjalbert's description, "for more than 30 years Macquin was a one-man viticultural industry, the mastermind behind the transformation of the Saint-Émilion vineyards."

The estate is currently owned by the Corre family, descendants of Albert Macquin, and is managed by Nicolas Thienpont with the oenologist Stéphane Derenoncourt in charge of vinification. The team of Thienpont and Derenoncourt has been credited with increasing the profile of Pavie-Macquin in recent years, introducing biodynamic viticulture and more modern winemaking techniques. In 2006, the Château was promoted from Grands crus classés to Premiers grands crus classés B in the Saint-Émilion wine classification.

The vineyard area extends 15 hectares with the grape varieties of 84% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon.

Of the Grand vin Château Pavie-Macquin and the second wine Les Chênes de Macquin there is typically a total production of 6,400 cases per year.

Grape variety
Cabernet Franc

Cabernet Franc is one of the major black grape varieties worldwide. It is principally grown for blending with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot in the Bordeaux style, but can also be vinified alone, as in the Loire's Chinon. In addition to being used in blends and produced as a varietal in Canada and the United States, it is sometimes made into ice wine in those regions.

Cabernet Franc is lighter than Cabernet Sauvignon, making a bright pale red wine that contributes finesse and lends a peppery perfume to blends with more robust grapes. Depending on the growing region and style of wine, additional aromas can include tobacco, raspberry, bell pepper, cassis, and violets.

Records of Cabernet Franc in Bordeaux go back to the end of the 18th century, although it was planted in Loire long before that time. DNA analysis indicates that Cabernet Franc is one of two parents of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Carménère.

Cabernet Franc shares many of the same phenolic and aroma compounds as Cabernet Sauvignon but with some noticeable differences. Cabernet Franc tends to be more lightly pigmented and produces wines with the same level of intensity and richness. Cabernet Franc tends to have a more pronounced perfume with notes of raspberries, blackcurrants, violets and graphite. It is often characterised by a green, vegetal strike that can range from leaves to green bell peppers. It has slightly less tannins than Cabernet Sauvignon and tends to produce a wine with a smoother mouthfeel. New World examples of Cabernet Franc tend to emphasise the fruit more and may delay harvesting the grapes to try to minimise the green leafy notes.

Alternative Names: Bordo, Bouchet, Bouchy, Breton, Cabernet Franco, Cabernet Frank

Cabernet Sauvignon

Cabernet Sauvignon is one of the world's most widely recognised red wine grape varieties. It is grown in nearly every major wine producing country among a diverse spectrum of climates from Canada's Okanagan Valley to Lebanon's Beqaa Valley. Cabernet Sauvignon became internationally recognised through its prominence in Bordeaux wines where it is often blended with Merlot and Cabernet Franc. From France and Spain, the grape spread across Europe and to the New World where it found new homes in places like California's Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Napa Valley, New Zealand's Hawkes Bay, South Africa's Stellenbosch region, Australia's Margaret River and Coonawarra regions, and Chile's Maipo Valley and Colchagua. For most of the 20th century, it was the world's most widely planted premium red wine grape until it was surpassed by Merlot in the 1990. However, by 2015, Cabernet Sauvignon had once again become the most widely planted wine grape.

Despite its prominence in the industry, the grape is a relatively new variety, the product of a chance crossing between Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc during the 17th century in southwestern France. Its popularity is often attributed to its ease of cultivation - the grapes have thick skins and the vines a re hardy and naturally low yielding, budding late to avoid frost and resistant to viticultural hazards such as rot and insects - and to its consistent presentation of structure and flavours which express the typical character ("typicity") of the variety. Familiarity and ease of pronunciation have helped to sell Cabernet Sauvignon wines to consumers, even when from unfamiliar wine regions.

The classic profile of Cabernet Sauvignon tends to be full-bodied wines with high tannins and noticeable acidity that contributes to the wine's aging potential. In cooler climates, Cabernet Sauvignon tends to produce wines with blackcurrant notes that can be accompanied by green bell pepper notes, mint and cedar which will all become more pronounced as the wine ages. In more moderate climates the blackcurrant notes are often seen with black cherry and black olive notes while in very hot climates the currant flavours can veer towards the over-ripe and "jammy" side. In parts of Australia, particularly the Coonawarra wine region of South Australia, Cabernet Sauvignon wines tend to have a characteristic eucalyptus or menthol notes.

The style of Cabernet Sauvignon is strongly influenced by the ripeness of the grapes at harvest. When more on the unripe side, the grapes are high in pyrazines and will exhibit pronounced green bell peppers and vegetal flavours. When harvested overripe the wines can taste jammy and may have aromas of stewed blackcurrants. Some winemakers choose to harvest their grapes at different ripeness levels in order to incorporate these different elements and potentially add some layer of complexity to the wine. When Cabernet Sauvignon is young, the wines typically exhibit strong fruit flavours of black cherries and plum. The aroma of blackcurrants is one of the most distinctive and characteristic element of Cabernet Sauvignon that is present in virtually every style of the wine across the globe. Styles from various regions and producers may also have aromas of eucalyptus, mint and tobacco. As the wines age they can sometimes develop aromas associated with cedar, cigar boxes and pencil shavings. In general New World examples have more pronounced fruity notes while Old World wines can be more austere with heightened earthy notes.

Alternative Names: Bidure, Bouche, Bordo, Bouchet, Burdeos Tinto, Lafite, Vidure

Merlot

Merlot is a dark blue-coloured wine grape variety, that is used as both a blending grape and for varietal wines. The name Merlot is thought to be a diminutive of merle, the French name for the blackbird, probably a reference to the colour of the grape. Its softness and "fleshiness", combined with its earlier ripening, makes Merlot a popular grape for blending with the sterner, later-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon, which tends to be higher in tannin.

Along with Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Shiraz Cabernet, Malbec and Petit Verdot, Merlot is one of the primary grapes used in Bordeaux wine, and it is the most widely planted grape in the Bordeaux wine regions. Merlot is also one of the most popular red wine varietals in many markets. This flexibility has helped to make it one of the world's most planted grape varieties. As of 2004, Merlot was estimated to be the third most grown variety at 260,000 hectares (640,000 acres) globally. The area planted to Merlot has continued to increase, with 266,000 hectares (660,000 acres) in 2015.

While Merlot is made across the globe, there tend to be two main styles. The "International style" favoured by many New World wine regions tends to emphasise late harvesting to gain physiological ripeness and produce inky, purple coloured wines that are full in body with high alcohol and lush, velvety tannins with intense, plum and blackberry fruit. While this international style is practiced by many Bordeaux wine producers, the traditional "Bordeaux style" of Merlot involves harvesting Merlot earlier to maintain acidity and producing more medium-bodied wines with moderate alcohol levels that have fresh, red fruit flavours (raspberries, strawberries) and potentially leafy, vegetal notes.

As a varietal wine, Merlot can make soft, velvety wines with plum flavours. While Merlot wines tend to mature faster than Cabernet Sauvignon, some examples can continue to develop in the bottle for decades. There are three main styles of Merlot - a soft, fruity, smooth wine with very little tannins; a fruity wine with more tannic structure; and, finally, a brawny, highly tannic style made in the profile of Cabernet Sauvignon. Some of the fruit notes commonly associated with Merlot include cassis, black and red cherries, blackberry, blueberry, boysenberry, mulberry, olallieberry and plum. Vegetable and earthy notes include black and green olives, cola nut, bell pepper, fennel, humus, leather, mushrooms, rhubarb and tobacco. Floral and herbal notes commonly associated with Merlot include green and black tea, eucalyptus, laurel, mint, oregano, pine, rosemary, sage, sarsaparilla and thyme. When Merlot has spent significant time in oak, the wine may show notes of caramel, chocolate, coconut, coffee bean, dill weed, mocha, molasses, smoke, vanilla and walnut.

Alternative Names: Alicante, Alicante Noir, Bégney, Bidal, Bidalhe, Bigney, Bigney rouge, Bini, Bini Ruzh, Bioney, Black Alicante, Bordeleza belcha, Crabutet, Crabutet Noir, Crabutet Noir merlau, Hebigney, Higney, Higney rouge, Langon, Lecchumskij, Médoc Noir, Merlau, Merlaut, Merlaut Noir, Merle, Merle Petite, Merleau, Merlô, Merlot Noir, Merlot black, Merlot blauer, Merlot crni, Merlot nero, Merlott, Merlou, Odzalesi, Odzhaleshi, Odzhaleshi Legkhumskii, Petit Merle, Picard, Pikard, Plan medre, Planet Medok, Plant du Médoc, Plant Médoc, Saint-Macaire, Same de la Canan, Same dou Flaube, Sème de la Canau, Sème Dou Flube, Semilhon rouge, Semilhoum rouge, Semilhoun rouge, Sémillon rouge, Sud des Graves, Vidal, Vini Ticinesi, Vitrai and Vitraille

About Saint-Emilion

Saint-Émilion Grand Cru wines are produced under slightly tighter production restrictions than regular Saint-Émilion wines. As with other grand cru appellations, the intention behind this is to improve the quality, and to distinguish the area's finer wines from the more everyday wines.

However the designation is distinct from that of Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé; confusingly for the non-expert, the top-tier wines from Saint-Émilion are not marked out by their grand cru status, but by their appearance in the Saint-Émilion Wine Classification, which confers grand cru classé (64 Châteaux in 2012) and premier grand cru classé status (14 classés "B" and, at the very top, 4 classés "A"). This works in a similar way to the classifications of the Médoc, Graves and Sauternes, but with one significant difference: it is periodically reviewed to keep it up-to-date and relevant. It was first drawn up in 1955, and (after a controversial review in 2006) was most recently updated in 2012.

There are four key production differences between the production restrictions for standard Saint-Emilion wines, and those classified as Grand Cru wines. First, the vineyard yield is restricted to 8000 kilograms per hectare rather than 9000 (which translates to 5500 litres per hectare rather than 6500). Second, the grapes (with the significant exception of Merlot) must be harvested with a must weight of at least 189 grams of sugar per litre rather than 180. Third, the finished wine must reach a minimum alcohol level of 11.5 percent abv rather than 11 percent. Fourth, and finally the wine must be stored by the producer for an extra 14 months before being released for sale.

Since the introduction of the Saint-Émilion Grand Cru appellation in 1954, many have suggested that these conditions are too relaxed to warrant the term Grand Cru. The yield restriction is the same as that in force in Bordeaux's other red-wine appellations (e.g. Pauillac and Graves), and the exception of Merlot from the second condition instantly excludes more than 65 percent of the total Saint-Émilion vineyard area. Further, the increase of the minimum alcohol level by 0.5 percent is effectively meaningless, as very few, if any, wines from Saint-Émilion ever contain less than 12 percent alcohol. The only condition which escapes this criticism is the extended élevage – the period which the wine spends (in tank, barrel or bottle) before general release.

All French wines undergo official panel tastings before being granted AOC status, which provides some guarantee of quality. But the panels test for typicity and consistency (they do not compare one Grand Cru appellation with another) and the quality expected of Saint-Émilion Grand Cru wines has been firmly established over the preceding 60-or-so vintages

Regular price $627.00

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