Château de Pez Saint-Estèphe 2018

Deep ruby color; cherry, blackberry, tobacco, pencil lead, lavender, leather on the nose; redcurrant, cherry, blackcurrant, blackberry, plum, black olives, cedar, orange zest, minerality on the palate.

Château de Pez Saint-Estèphe 2018

Dry; round, easily approachable, polished tannin; mild acidity. Medium-plus body. Bold, savory fruit. Blend of 49% cabernet sauvignon, 49% merlot, 1% cabernet franc, 1% petit verdot. Very refined, complex, structured. Excellent minerality, especially enjoyed on the very long and tasty finish. 14.5% ABV

After a manual harvest, the grapes ferment 21 days on the skins in temperature-controlled large vats. After one year in barrel, the wine is fined with eggs whites. There is no filtration. The blend ages in barrels—40% new wood, 40% “premier vin” casks, and 20% in “deuxième vin” casks—and racked every three months.

Nicolas Glumineau is the winemaker and general manager. The website notes: “Nicolas was born in 1974 and has been living in Bordeaux for 25 years. He studied at the University of Oenology in Bordeaux with Professor Denis Dubourdieu and obtained a Master of Genetics applied to oenology.

Nicolas Glumineau, Château de Pez winemaker and general manager

“He furthered his studies at the National Agronomic School of Montpellier to become an engineer in viticulture and winemaker. Nicolas began his career at Château Haut-Brion in 2005 and Château Margaux in 2006. In 2012, he became the general manager and winemaker at Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande (Pauillac) and Château de Pez (Saint-Estèphe), owned by Champagne Louis Roederer.”

Founded in the 15th century, Pez is the oldest domaine in Saint-Estèphe. The Pontac family, also owners of Château Haut-Brion, planted the first vineyards. The family held the property until the French Revolution. The property then was sold by the state to a succession of owners until 1995 when Champagne Louis Roederer obtained it.

The left-bank Bordeaux property consists of 118 contiguous acres with 103 acres planted mainly in cabernet sauvignon and merlot. Château de Pez is one of the top crus of the Médoc and was reclassified as a Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel in 2003.

Château de Pez
Château de Pez vineyard

Saint-Estèphe is the northernmost of the four communal appellations in the Haut-Médoc district of Bordeaux. It is separated from the Pauillac vineyards of Château Lafite only by a small stream. While Saint-Estèphe soils contain a significant amount of gravel, there is underlying clay. In poorly drained sections, this means the plots can be cooler and ripening delayed, resulting in higher acidity than appellations to the south. Saint-Estèphe is noteworthy for its proximity to both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gironde River.

Château de Pez Saint-Estèphe 2018 is classic, wonderful Saint-Estèphe with harmonious balance of ripe cabernet sauvignon and merlot fruits. Impressive, finely integrated tannins. Noteworthy minerality. Sensual. Charming. Complex. Delicious. A pour this elegant and refined needs to be paired with higher-end cuts of beef—filet mignon, rib eye; top sirloin; veal; lamb; venison; poultry with rich and complex sauces. French comte cheese, hard cow’s-milk cheeses with distinct flavors. $50-60

Maison Marques & Domains website (US distributor)

Château de Pez pages on Maison Marques & Domains website

Château de Pez barrel room