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This is an excellent example of good value St Estèphe, in the infinitely capable hands of Jean-Charles Cazes of Lynch Bages. A firmly structured wine, full of wild hedgerow fruit flavours. Beautifully balanced with a subtle stony finish, this well-made wine bursts with energy and intensity.
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. 2021 - 2036
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. (JH) Drink 2024-2032
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.
The 2017 Ormes de Pez comes across as a bit light in both body and structure. Spice, leather, dark red stone fruit and new French oak are nicely pushed forward. Easygoing and open-knit, the 2017 is likely to offer its best drinking sooner rather than later. Jean-Michel Cazes told me yields were surprisingly generous in 2017, along the lines of 2009. Merlot plays an especially prominent role in a blend composed of 51% Merlot, 42% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot.
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 Window 2022 - 2035
Chiselled and firm, this is a stern wine with a very forceful demeanour and a slight touch of greenness which might not melt away. I like it a lot, but you will have to be forgiving in due course.
This Cru Bourgeois was named after the elm trees (ormes) which were originally found around the village of Pez in St.-Estèphe. The property has been in the Cazes family (of Lynch Bages fame) for several generations and as such is handled similarly to its illustrious Pauillac sibling. Due to its impressive track record for consistency and its grounded pricing sense, it is remains one of the best values in Bordeaux.
St Estèphe is the most northern of Médoc communal crus. Its unique terroir is made up of layers of gravel which are supported by a dense clay base. This subsoil retains water in dry seasons and works particularly well with Merlot, a largely planted variety which is used to flesh out Cabernet Sauvignon. This clay base also creates powerful, textured tannins which enable St Estèphe to stand out from the pack. Like St Julien, it is one of the four most important communal appellations of the Médoc which does not contain any first growths, despite its southern border being a stone'sthrow from Château Lafite. Nonetheless, it is home to some excellent châteaux making fine wines such as Cos d'Estournel, Montrose, Calon Ségur and Lafon Rochet.