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Is the 2008 Pavie superior to the 2005 and 2000? While that is impossible to know at this stage of its development, it will certainly be one of the three greatest Pavies made under the administration of Chantal and Gerard Perse. Cropped at a very low 30 hectoliters per hectare, the final blend is a classic Pavie combination of 70% Merlot, 20% Cabernet Franc, and 10% Cabernet Sauvignon. The 14.5% natural alcohol is the highest ever achieved at this estate. The inky/blue/purple color is followed by a wine with a concentrated, full-bodied texture, a layered mouthfeel, fresh acids, abundant tannin, and a 50-60-year evolution ahead of it. Compared to the enormous, but backward 2005, the 2008 seems even less evolved at a similar stage. Sweet creme de cassis, black cherry, licorice, and smoky barbecue characteristics combine with a liqueur of minerality that resonates from this terroir that is considered to be among the top dozen or so vineyard sites in Bordeaux. This remarkable offering, from a person who has, thankfully, ignored the petty jealousy and unfair criticism of his administration, is another St.-Emilion for your children's children. For the fact-mongers, this cuvee was hand-harvested between October 13-21, with the grapes put in small plastic containers. Everything is moved by gravity flow, and there is no fining or filtration following a slightly longer than normal aging (28-30 months) in oak casks. Score: 96-98+ Robert Parker, eRobertParker.com (182)

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