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Ormes de Pez is the kind of wine we buy year in, year out En Primeur here at Lay & Wheeler. Made by one of Bordeaux's most talented teams - the team behind Lynch-Bages - it's a wine that delivers spectacularly for its price. Savoury and focused in 2020, there's beautiful energy here: this is classic claret that will never cease to impress. In short, it's a cornerstone of your cellar in the years to come.
A firm, lightly chewy red with blackberry, blueberry, spice and some chocolate. Medium body and fine tannins. It grows on the palate. Tannins sneak up at the end. 54% merlot, the highest percentage ever, the rest cabernet sauvignon with a touch of petit verdot.
Blueberry, raspberry and cassis, there is concentration but also juice. Merlot-dominant (following a restructuring of the vineyard to better align grapes with terroir) with bite and freshness. A lovely smoky edge here, this is another successful vintage for Ormes de Pez. 4% Petit Verdot completes the blend. 3.69ph. 45% new oak. A yield of 42hl/ha which was not as low here as at Lynch Bages because of more clay in the soils, and because the Merlot was less impacted by the drought than the Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2020 Ormes de Pez, which has gradually moved to a more Merlot-dominated blend over the last decade, is aged for 16 months in 45% new oak. It has a nicely detailed bouquet of a mélange of red and black fruit – cranberry, blackberry and a touch of blueberry – accompanied by cedar and subtle wild mint aromas; it is actually quite Pauillac-like in style. The palate is medium-bodied with grippy tannins and chewy in the mouth, quite compact at first. A strong saline, almost briny element comes through toward the finish, which is more quintessential Saint-Estèphe. This is a more backward and less finessed wine compared to the Cazes family’s Lynch-Bages or Haut-Batailley, but there is commendable length and character, not to mention a very attractive openness, to this wine.
Dark crimson, but much paler than the Pauillacs from this Cazes stable. Aromatic and medium concentration of fruit with some stoniness on the palate. Marked tannins and acidity but nothing excessive. Classic St-Estèphe. Cool fruit and freshness. Very dry finish. I should imagine that this will be far from the most opulent wine of the appellation but it's very sincere and correct and I like the menthol-fresh finish.
Mature 2012 - 2018
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Young 2024 - 2045
Young 2025 - 2040