A friend of mine who runs his own wine blog (http://barrelsecrets.wordpress.com), has a few older Bordeaux bottles in his wine rack. Most of them stored properly, however not perfectly. One of them is this 1981 Chateau de Pez, St. Estephe. De Pez is one of the oldest estates in Bordeaux. Total production is 150.000 bottles a year, from 39 ha. These vineyards are planted with Cabernet Sauvignon (45%) and Merlot (48%) predominantly, and some Cabernet Franc (4%), Petit Verdot (3%) and some Malbec (1%). In recent vintages, Malbec is almost solely used in their second wine (Les Salles de Pez). However, in the 80’s, the Malbec did end up in their main wine. Ullage = 1,5cm.
Starting off, the color is quite youthful for a 32-year-old wine. Brick coloured rim but deep, red hue in the center. A lot of sediment. On the nose, old spices played the leading role. Rosemary, thyme and oregano. Lead pencil. I missed the fruit. We didn’t have high expectations of this wine, but this first impression wasn’t too amazing. Wet, forest floor. Soil. Some earthy components, mushrooms. Classic maturated BDX aroma’s, but lacking in depth. The same went for the palate. It had some stewed, vague red fruit, there were some tannins left, but all nothing too crazy. Then we decided to decant it. Best_idea_ever.
Bottle had been opened for an hour now, and this 32/yo woke op. Amazing warm spices. Cinnamon, koffie, cloves, white pepper. Fresh, vivid strawberry and raspberry. Hints of cacao and caramel. This guy had been sleeping for 32 years, so I guess you need some time to wake up, then. Fine by me: the result was one of the best matured Bordeaux I have ever tasted. Absolutely phenomenal.
Obviously, drink this now if you come across this wine with this filling level. I am not sure whether there is another Ch. de Pez which turns out to be as good as this one, but take the guess. 1981 is a rather confusing vintage, but this is a fine example of the qualities. Benchmark old Bordeaux. This left me speechless. 97+