De Pez has been under the Roederer umbrella for some time now, but the 2009 marks a huge improvement in quality. Whether this is due to shared knowledge with the Pichon Lalande team or just St Estephe enjoying a particularly fine vintage, we do not know, but what we can say with some certainty is that this is by far the best de Pez we have ever tasted. Notes of cut daisies, hedgerow fruit, minerals and mocha are all evident on the nose. The palate is fleshy and voluptuous, packed with seductive black fruits, spice and savoury notes. This is a really well structured, stylish effort, bravo!
Château de Pez, west of the commune of Saint-Estèphe has 39 adjoining hectares (mainly Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon varieties) enjoying ideal exposures on the hilltops around the Château itself. The wines are stored in barrels (40% new wood, 40% in "Premier vin" casks and 20% in "Deuxième vin" casks) and racked every three months and do not undergo any filtration. The chateau has been carefully renovated since it was acquired by the House of Louis Roederer in 1995 and continues to receive investment and technical know-how from Roederer and sister property, Chateau Pichon Lalande.
A part of St-Estèphe is separated from Pauillac's Lafite only by a stream.Though St-Estèphe contains some gravel, it is largely renowned for the high clay content of its soils compared with other vineyards on the left bank. These wetter cooler soils favour the Merlot, hence the relatively large proportion of plantings compared neighbouring communes, though Cabernet Sauvignon dominates. The cool soils means the grapes are later ripeing and tend to have high acidities, archetypal St Estèphe is a strong-willed, tannic structured wine to be laid down. The stars of St-Estèphe are Montrose, Cos d’Estournel and Calon-Segur, whilst Haut Marbuzet and Lafon Rochet have been producing excellent value wines over the last few years.