2017 Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel Saint Estèphe


51% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. Impressive verdant bouquet of bramble fruits, violet and cedar. There is even a hint of Pyrazine character that's missing from many wines in this vintage. Good carry and chew on the fleshy mid-palate. The tannins are fine, ripe and really silky. Already approachable and inviting, this has impressive length. Another very good wine from an estate that's been on an excellent run of form. Drinking range: 2021 - 2035 Rating: 90-91 L&S (May 2018)

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The 2017 Ormes de Pez comes across as light and easygoing, with only modest depth and nuance. There just isn't much to the 2017, in terms of either body and complexity. Drink it up. Drinking range: 2020 - 2025 Rating: 86 Antonio Galloni, (Mar 2020)

The 2017 Les Ormes de Pez has a tightly would bouquet with tertiary, slightly ferrous red berry fruit, perhaps needing a little more cohesion that should evolve with bottle age. The palate is medium-bodied with a balsamic-tinged entry, moderate depth, good density but just missing a little flair and nuance on what feels like a conservative finish. Drinking range: 2023 - 2035 Rating: 88 Neal Martin, (Feb 2020)

The 2017 Les Ormes de Pez was matured in 45% new oak with 13.42% alcohol. None of the vines were touched by frost. Cropped at round 50hl/ha, it has a clean, pure red cherry, blackcurrant and cedar-scented bouquet, more Pauillac in style than Saint-Estèphe. The palate is well balanced with ripe tannin that feel more malleable than previous vintages at this stage, a little saline in the mouth with a silky smooth finish. This will be delicious over the next couple of decades and I suspect it will be more approachable than the 2016. Don’t ignore this. Drinking range: 2021 - 2036 Rating: 91-93 Neal Martin, (May 2018)

Tasted both at Hangar 14 and at Haut-Batailley. Very dark crimson. The aroma is equal parts black fruit and graphite. On the palate, some sweetness of oak spice but there's a slight lack of fruit richness on the palate so that overall it is relatively light. Persistent though, and the tannins are fine enough not to dominate. Drinking range: 2024 - 2032 Rating: 16 Julia Harding MW, (Apr 2018)

Ormes has managed another good vintage after a run of them. This is a lovely wine and a buy for me. Succulent, bristling and charming, it has juicy brambled fruit extraction and tension. It doesn't take itself too seriously, just asking to be loved. The fruit spectrum is rich with blueberries and damsons, with integrity and a swirl of vanilla bean oak. Includes 6% Cabernet Franc in the blend. No need to wait too long for this. 45% new oak. Drinking range: 2022 - 2035 Rating: 92 Jane Anson, Decanter (Apr 2018)

This solid Saint-Estèphe estate has made a promising 2017 Les Ormes de Pez. Ripe black cherry and currant fruit, medium to full body, ripe tannins, and a charming, rounded style all make for a delicious, textbook 2017 that will keep for 15+ years. Rating: 89-91 Jeb Dunnuck, (Apr 2018)

The density for the vintage is impressive with dark-berry and cherry character. Medium to full body, velvety tannins and a fresh and bright finish. Linear and driven. Rating: 92 - 93 James Suckling, (Apr 2018)

Open-knit, with a core of plum and cherry fruit carried by light cedar, tobacco and warm stone notes. Shows a light smoky echo at the end. Rating: 88-91 James Molesworth, The Wine Spectator (Apr 2018)

A rather elegant nose here, showing some charming dried cherry fruit, dressed with properly toasted oak. This has supple weight and breadth on the palate, with a rich, creamy depth of dark fruit, all kept in check by a belt of ripe, velvety and undeniably grippy tannins around the middle. The finish is all grip and substance, a convincing effort that shows what could be achieved in this vintage. Overall this is a fairly robust and hearty composition which seems true to the tradition of the appellation, and which will surely come good with time in bottle. Rating: 91-93 Chris Kissack, (Apr 2018)

Château Les Ormes-de-Pez (French for The Elms of Pez) is a winery in the Saint-Estèphe appellation of the Bordeaux wine region of France, near the hamlet of Pez. The wine produced here was classified as one of 9 Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnels in the 2003 listing. Though this classification is currently annulled, it is expected to be revived by the 2009 vintage, but without use of the quality divisions such as "exceptionnel". The Château and buildings date from 1792, constructed after the division and sale of Château de Pez as a result of the French Revolution. During the 19th century it was owned by Marcel Alibert, also the owner of Château Belgrave, until it was sold in 1927 to the Société Civile du Haut Médoc. Financial trouble forced the estate to be sold on to Jean-Charles Cazes in 1930, who passed it on to his son André Cazes. To date the estate is owned by the Cazes family, also owners of Château Lynch-Bages. For many years the vinification took place at Lynch-Bages, but the cuvier and chai of Ormes-de-Pez were modernised before the 1981 vintage. After a long period of management by Jean-Michel Cazes, he has been succeeded by his son Jean-Charles Cazes. The vineyard area, divided into two blocks north and south of the village of Saint-Estèphe, extends 33 hectares (82 acres), with the grape varieties of 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Cabernet Franc and 20% Merlot. The annual production of the Grand vin Château Ormes de Pez is typically 15,000 cases.


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