88% Merlot, 12% Cabernet Franc. Only 2 ha presently in production. Cask sample.
Deep colour. Subdued nose but clearly has an intensity of (dark) fruit. Pure and juicy on attack, the fruit persisting through the palate. Fine-grained tannins behind. Tension and minerality as well but plenty of charm this year.
17 points, James Lawther, JancisRobinson.com (April 2021)
Balanced, sleek and poised, plenty of character, a real push and pull, it expands and contracts, the oak is well masked and there is a sense of energy. This is an enjoyable wine, easy to recommend, but I think this may be the first vintage where I have thought that its sibling Pavie is a clear step up. 80% new oak, 3.53pH, from up on the limestone plateau. A yield of 17hl/ha. Drinking Window 2026 - 2042
95 points, Decanter (May 2021)
A blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, the 2020 Château Pavie Decesse comes from the upper plateau, just above Château Pavie, and the soils here are more limestone based, with just a thin layer of clay over the bedrock, which tends to produce a more elegant, ethereal wine. Nevertheless, this brings serious richness and depth as well as full-bodied aromas and flavors of black cherries, currants, bouquet garni, crushed violets, and chalky minerality. Just stunning in every way, it has an expansive texture, the classic purity and elegance this cuvée always shows, and a monster of a finish.
(96-98) points, JebDunnuck.com (May 2021)
The 2020 Pavie Decesse is a blend of 88% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc, aging in French oak barrels, 80% new. It has an alcohol of 14.81% and a pH of 3.52. Deep purple-black colored, notions of baked blackberries, preserved plums and black cherry compote come barreling out of the glass, followed by suggestions of dark chocolate, licorice and Indian spices, with a fragrant hint of lavender. The medium to full-bodied palate is jam-packed with rich, spicy black fruits, supported by firm yet beautifully plush tannins and a lively backbone, finishing long with lots of emerging earthy nuances.
(95-97) points, Wine Advocate (May 2021)
The 2020 Pavie-Decesse is compelling. Silky and voluptuous, it opens with a rush of inky red/purplish fruit, rose petal, lavender, spice and mocha. There is terrific brightness and plenty of energy, but the luxuriousness of the fruit wins the day. I imagine the 2020 will drink well with only a few years in bottle.
(94-96) points, Vinous (June 2021)
The 2020 Pavie Decesse was picked on September 23, the same day as Perse’s Bellevue-Mondotte, at just 17hl/ha, and matured in 80% new oak, the final blend to be made at bottling. This is rich and opulent on the nose, which delivers intense black cherries, raspberry coulis, blueberry and blood orange scents; the new oak is quite prominent. The palate is medium-bodied with firm tannins, though I find this more nuanced and delineated compared to the Bellevue-Mondotte. More terroir is articulated toward the persistent finish, which displays subtle black pepper and clove notes. This actually challenges Pavie for my affections.
(94-96) points, Vinous (May 2021)
St.-Émilion is the star of Bordeaux’s Right Bank, north of the Dordogne River. The rich red wines produced in St.-Émilion, based on Merlot and Cabernet Franc, are less tannic and generally more fruit-driven in flavour than the Cabernet-based wines of Left Bank. Merlot thrives on the plateaus high above the Dordogne, where the soil is filled with sand and clay, a perfect medium for creating opulent, fruit-forward wines. With a typically savoury character, St.-Émilion wines are sometimes called the “Burgundies of Bordeaux.” These refined reds, with loads of finesse, are elegant companions to beef, chicken, pork and duck.
The wines of St.-Émilion were not included in the famous 1855 classification of Bordeaux, which ranked wines of the Left Bank. In 1955, St.-Émilion published its own classification, based on soil analysis, wine quality and reputation of the properties. Unlike the 1855 classification, St.-Emilion’s system requires properties to continuously prove themselves. The list is revised regularly, most recently in 2012. There are two tiers within the classification, Premier Grand Cru Classé and Grand Cru Classé. There are currently just 18 Premier Grand Cru properties and 64 Grand Cru Classé properties.
The St.-Émilion appellation is home to hundreds of individual producers, enhancing the variety of wines made there. Many of the properties remain small, family-run enterprises, unlike the large châteaux of the Left Bank. The area is also the base of France’s controversial micro-châteaux or garagiste wine movement; these innovative winemakers operate outside the traditional classification system, making very high quality (and very expensive) highly extracted wines.