The world’s top 10 most powerful fine wines4th February, 2013 by Patrick Schmitt
3. Château Pavie
Pavie was a standout performer in 2012, up 18 places to become the third most powerful fine wine brand.
Profiting from both a perfect score in 2009 and an upgrade to cru Classé A status in the recent St-Emilion reclassification (along with Angélus to join Cheval Blanc and Ausone), Pavie is now, officially, a Right Bank first growth.
“It’s no longer a bad boy, but firmly part of the establishment, and we do a lot of trade on Pavie,” comments Jack Hibberd at Liv-ex.
Continuing he adds: “In a year like this when there is volatility, you need consistency – a good brand, a good price and a good score.”
The rise of Pavie, like Pontet-Canet above it, and Montrose below, also signals an increasing demand for more affordable labels.
Pavie has also been the subject of sustained investment in the vineyard and cellar since the rich retailer Gérard Perse bought the château in 1998, having previously purchased Monbousquet and then Pavie-Decesse.
It was also famously the source of disagreement between the wine world’s two most famous critics: Jancis Robinson MW and Robert Parker. Robinson described the 2003 vintage as “reminiscent of a late-harvest Zinfandel” while Parker rated it highly, commenting, “A brilliant effort, it, along with Ausone and Pétrus, is one of the three greatest offerings of the right bank in 2003.”
A few facts:
- Château Pavie lies on the plateau to the southeast of the St Emilion village.
- In 2012 it was upgraded to the first rank of the Classification of Saint-Émilion becoming a Premier Grand Cru Classé (A) having been a Premier Grand Cru Classé (B) since 1954.
- Gérard Perse bought the château in 1998 for US$31 million from Jean-Paul Valette.
- Perse invested in vineyard improvements and hired wine consultant Michel Rolland.
- The estate takes its name from a peach orchard which once stood on the site.