Rivaling the Bordeaux Aristocrats

By Robert Parker

Gérard Perse is a former French supermarket magnate who turned his attention and his fortune to making wine. His goal: create wines that would best the aristocrats of Bordeaux, such as Château Lafite-Rothschild. He has often done that at Château Pavie, a venerable St.-Emilion estate that he acquired in 1998. His other properties, Château Monbousquet in St.-Emilion and Château Clos des Lunelles in Côtes de Castillon, have fine offerings at more moderate prices.


2004 Monbousquet

This silky-textured effort exhibits abundant sweet, black-cherry fruit mixed with black currant, licorice, and spices. Drink it over the next 12 to 14 years. $34-$43


2003 Clos Lunelles

The wine reveals a peppery incense-laced bouquet interwoven with black-cherry jam, blackberry, and cassis. Full-bodied and persistent, it can be enjoyed over the next 10 to 15 years. $29-$46


2004 Clos Lunelles

The dark ruby/purple full-bodied wine boasts aromas of blackberries, cherries, pain grillé and spring flowers. It's an 80% merlot, 20% cabernet sauvignon blend with a dash of cabernet franc. $32-$45


2003 Monbousquet

A classic blend of 60% merlot, 30% cabernet franc, and 10% cabernet sauvignon, the wine offers notes of smoky meats, melted licorice, jammy black cherries, spices, earth, and cedar. $44-$59


2004 Pavie

This full-bodied wine has concentrated crème de cassis flavors intermixed with cherries, truffles, and subtle smoky wood notes. Anticipated maturity: 2009-2025+. $118-$163


2003 Pavie

There's an extraordinary perfume of charcoal, crème de cassis, melted licorice, espresso roast, and blackberries. The integration of acidity, tannin, and wood is flawless. Set it aside for four or five years, then enjoy any time over the next four decades. $200-$225

98-100 POINTS

2005 Pavie

Mineral, scorched earth, blackberry, cassis liqueur, and roasted coffee traits are met with phenomenal acidity, high tannin, and unbelievable levels of fruit and texture. You'd have to go back to some of the last century's greatest vintages to find its equal. Anticipated maturity: 2017-2050+. $290-$310

Wines rated from 96-100 are extraordinary; 90-95, excellent; 80-89, above average to very good.

Robert Parker is the world's most influential wine critic. Visit www.eRobertParker.com to see tens of thousands of tasting notes, buy his books, or subscribe to his newsletter, The Wine Advocate.

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