2005 Chateau Pavie Macquin, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classe

2005 Chateau Pavie Macquin, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classe

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A past Wine Access story about 2005 Chateau Pavie Macquin, Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classe

Limited quantities available of historical 96+pt St. Emilion

When the Stars Align in Saint-Émilion


Nicolas Thienpont and Stéphane Derenoncourt may be the greatest winemaking duo in all of Bordeaux. The meticulous property manager and the super-oenologist complement each other like the yin and the yang — like the massive fruit concentration and broad-shouldered tannic backbone that characterizes the many 98, 99, and 100-pointers they have made together.

Thienpont’s roots lead to Pomerol, where his family owns Château Le Pin and Vieux Certan — call him Bordeaux royalty. Derenoncourt, on the other hand, hitchhiked to Bordeaux in 1982 and started his career working harvests in Fronsac. Their work together finds yet another level of excellence, above even what they achieve on their own.  

Thienpont and Derenoncourt’s work at Pavie-Macquin has produced many Parker favorites. The vagaries of vintage have relatively less effect on a team that can call upon such vast experience, and they routinely turn out stunning efforts even in the most challenging growing seasons. But when the stars align, as they did in Saint-Émilion in 2005, the results can be utterly staggering. Here’s why.  

The summer of 2005 in Saint-Émilion was exceedingly dry and warm, but there were no dramatic heat spikes. As it’s illegal to irrigate in Bordeaux, by the third week of August, the vines at Château Pavie-Macquin risked shutting down from hydric stress. Then, on August 17th, the skies opened up. That rainfall, coupled with two more storms on the 8th and 25th of September, set Pavie-Macquin up for one of the most extraordinary stretch runs in the château’s storied history. The harvest went off without a hitch under perfect conditions. Merlot, Cabernet Franc, and Cabernet Sauvignon came in PERFECTLY ripe, thick skinned, and massively — no, monumentally — concentrated. The vineyard’s quality was so evident that no one was surprised the next year, in 2006, when Château Pavie-Macquin was promoted to the prestigious level of Premier Grand Cru Classé.

In 2005, Robert Parker dropped a 99-point vintage score on Saint-Émilion — his highest — and followed up with a 96+ for Thienpont and Derenoncourt’s masculine blockbuster. The most important Bordeaux critic in the world called the 2005 Pavie-Macquin a “prodigious effort,” hailing its “crushed, chalky rock minerality, massive body, and high tannin.” “The blackberry and cassis fruit are there in abundance,” said Parker, “but so is a massive structure.”

Tasted at the château on our trip to Bordeaux last month, the 2005 Pavie-Macquin lives up to its billing in every way. Now, just 300 bottles have been raised from the cellar where they haven’t been touched in over a decade. Serious collectors should act fast. A pair in your cellar will thrive for decades, but getting them there won’t be easy.

Expert Ratings and Reviews

98 Points Wine Advocate, 2008
96 Points Wine Spectator, 2008
96 Points Wine Advocate, 2007
96 Points Wine Spectator, 2006
95 Points Vinous Media

Customer Ratings

Based on 2 ratings

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