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CHÂTEAU PEDESCLAUX

2016 5ème Cru Classé Pauillac

Grapes Petit Verdot, Merlot, Cab Franc, Cab Sauv
Colour Red
Origin France, Bordeaux
Sub-district Haut Médoc
Village Pauillac
Classification 5ème Cru Classé
ABV 13.3%

48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, 3% Cabernet Franc. Nice nose - cool composed fresh black fruit. Palate taskes this on, a supple and cool feel, nicely defined curranty Cabernet fruit, all silky, even if tannins build, they are ripe and rounded. Very modern take, but none the worse for it. Drinking range: 2025 - 2038 Rating: 91-92 L&S (Apr 2017)


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An estate that’s unquestionably on the upswing, the 2016 Château Pédesclaux is made from 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot, and 3% Cabernet Franc that spent 18 months in 60% new oak. In the past, the wines from this estate have been slightly chunky, but that started to change around 2014, and I think this 2016 is the best yet. Beautiful blue fruits, violets, spicy oak, and a touch of minerality all emerge from this medium-bodied Pauillac, which has fine, polished tannins, a seamless texture, and a great finish. With purity and finesse as well as richness and depth, it’s already reasonably approachable today, but it’s going to evolve for three decades or more. Drinking range: 2022 - 2052 Rating: 94 Jeb Dunnuck, www.jebdunnuck.com (Feb 2019)

The 2016 Pedesclaux is a blend of 48% Cabernet Sauvignon, 45% Merlot, 4% Petit Verdot and 3% Cabernet Franc, picked between 29 September and 18 October, matured in 60% new oak. It has a tightly-wound bouquet with blackberry and raspberry fruit, a touch of iodine and graphite. I like the subtle nature of this Pedesclaux, the brooding intensity. The palate is medium-bodied with very fine tannin, crisp and fresh, a gorgeous salinity and a long and persistent, lightly spiced finish. This leaves the 2015 Pedesclaux far behind. Drinking range: 2022 - 2050 Rating: 93-95 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Apr 2017)

Bright deep crimson. Creamy texture. Obviously lots of work has gone into this. Very gentle extraction. Rewarding drink though just a suggestion of modern winemaking rather than overbearing vineyard influence. Drinking range: 2025 - 2036 Rating: 16.5 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - www.JancisRobinson.com (Apr 2017)

Château Pedesclaux

Fascinating visit here with the winemaker Catarina Freitas in 2012. Catarina showed us the map of the parcels which were owned by the property at the time that it was bought in 2009, and then two others, showing how, by purchases and swaps, they has vastly reduced the number of parcels and are consolidating the vineyard.

This was also where we first saw Alessandro Masnaghetti's maps of the area, which is a fascinating insight into where all these wines actually come from.

Catarina explained that as a result of the strength of the co-operative movement in Saint Estèphe and northern Pauillac, properties passed down though families often got split into tiny plots. The previous owner, in a rush to expand the surface area, bought what he could. Sometimes this was just a couple of rows of vines in the middle of someone else's vineyard. This made vineyard management harder, and also made it difficult to see clearly what they had at vinification - it was impossible to vinify every tiny bit separately.

Winemaking includes pre-fermentary cold maceration that can last up to an astonishing fifty days. Like properties such as Charmail, they tried using dry ice to cool the harvest so as to make sure the fermentation did not start, but from 2011 on they are using a new method, which I have not come across anywhere before, which is to hold the harvested grapes in a cold room at 3C for twenty-four hours before beginning the egrappage and final sortings and putting them into vats.

We were also shown the proposed new winery, which will use the natural slope of the built part of the property down to the Gironde. It will be built into the hill and use gravity thoughout to avoid pumping. Make no mistake, there intent is very serious here and its a name to look out for.

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