Our tasting of the Nicolas Thienpont wines with his son, Cyril at the beautifully situated Pavie Macquin was a real treat. Larcis Ducasse, Pavie Macquin and Beauséjour Duffau Lagarrosse all possess great terroir; sometimes we find the wines are a bit over the top and lack energy - this certainly wasn't the case in 2015. Produced from 84% Merlot, 14% Cabernet Franc and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon, Pavie Macquin is less mineral and more clear fruited with notes of high toned cherries, strawberries and cranberries. The palate is packed with seductive raspberry, cherry liqueur fruit and griotte. The pH is low and this acidity gives a zippy, vital, uplifting character to the persistent fruit tannins.
Pavie Macquin is a Grand Cru Classé, located in the appellation of St Emilion.
St-Émilion is a very different region to those of the Médoc, dominated by small-holding farmers and estates rather than grand Châteaux. Merlot is widely planted as is Cabernet Franc in some parts. The wines are enormously variable in style depending on the terroir, the grape variety make-up and winemaking style. Loosely the region is divided between the limestone Côtes, Graves or gravelly limestone plateau or the sandy alluvial soils nearer the Dordogne. Traditionally Médoc wines were trade from Bordeaux and St Emilions from Libourne so they have their own classification system separate to that of 1855. The classification is revised every ten years and falls into four categories, St Emilion, St Emilion Grand Cru, St Emilion Grand Cru Classé and St Emilion Premier Grand Cru Classé
Most of the district's best properties are either on the steep, clay-limestone hillsides immediately below the town or on a gravelly section of the plateau west of St Emilion itself abutting Pomerol. There are several high profile estates in the region, including Cheval Blanc, Ausone, Figeac, Le Dôme, Valandraud and Pavie.