Château Pey La Tour Réserve, Bordeaux Supérieur 2016 is no longer available

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Château Pey La Tour Réserve, Bordeaux Supérieur 2016

Red Wine from France - Bordeaux
Winner of a Silver medal at the 2019 Decanter World Wine Awards. Few wines deliver the character and consistency of quality of Pey La Tour at such an affordable price. Pure and fleshy, with vibrant merlot fruit character and a savoury edge, this claret will develop well in bottle.
is no longer available
Code: CB5181A

Wine characteristics

  • Red Wine
  • Full-bodied
  • Merlot
  • 14.5% Alcohol
  • No oak influence
  • Now to 2024
  • Cork, diam

Bordeaux/Bordeaux Superieur

If the word Bordeaux is mentioned most people take it to refer to red wine. Though a good deal of white wine is made in Bordeaux, and some of the finest white Bordeaux are only entitled to that generic appellation contrôlée nomenclature, it is reds that are most associated with the region.

The Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur regional appellation contrôlées are spread throughout the Bordeaux region. A bright colour, a clean, deep, appealing red-fruit nose (with hints of vanilla and spice if the wines have been aged in oak) and the classic balance of alcohol, tannin and acidity are the hallmarks. These modest designations verify that the wine comes from a particular region and conforms to certain criteria, such as alcohol content, but cannot be relied upon as a guarantee of quality. Many good wines are made in little-known appellations, just as mediocre bottles can have grand origins, so the key is to follow a property or grower you like and trust.

The climate of Bordeaux is deeply...
If the word Bordeaux is mentioned most people take it to refer to red wine. Though a good deal of white wine is made in Bordeaux, and some of the finest white Bordeaux are only entitled to that generic appellation contrôlée nomenclature, it is reds that are most associated with the region.

The Bordeaux and Bordeaux Supérieur regional appellation contrôlées are spread throughout the Bordeaux region. A bright colour, a clean, deep, appealing red-fruit nose (with hints of vanilla and spice if the wines have been aged in oak) and the classic balance of alcohol, tannin and acidity are the hallmarks. These modest designations verify that the wine comes from a particular region and conforms to certain criteria, such as alcohol content, but cannot be relied upon as a guarantee of quality. Many good wines are made in little-known appellations, just as mediocre bottles can have grand origins, so the key is to follow a property or grower you like and trust.

The climate of Bordeaux is deeply influenced by its proximity to water, whether it is the sea, the estuary or the rivers, all have a major impact on the grapes grown and the wine made with them. The maritime climate is mild and gently warmed by the Gulf Stream which has a ready conduit deep inland via the Gironde estuary. The estuary acts as a moderator of the extremes of winter and summer. Summers are generally hot and autumns fairly long and mild. Winter and spring too are relatively mild but also often wet, and overall, give or take the odd and very rare major weather event, the climate is generally stable and consistent. Dampness is indeed on of the major difficulties of wine production and it is no coincidence that the anti-fungal spray ‘Bordeaux Mixture’ was developed here in the 19th century. In terms of weather events the two that are often encountered, sometimes with devastating effects, are hail and frost. Bear in mind that Bordeaux lies on a latitude of 45 degrees and should you travel across the Atlantic on that latitude you would make landfall in Nova Scotia. Without the Gulf Stream and proximity to bodies of water Bordeaux would be a much more marginal climate for making wine.

Red wines are the biggest part of the wine production of Bordeaux. Some 55,000 hectares of vines are employed in the making of Bordeaux AC and Bordeaux Supérieur AC. The most planted red grape is merlot, followed by cabernet sauvignon. Most of these generic Bordeaux are made outside of more specific communes, and indeed may be made from grapes grown anywhere in the Bordeaux region, and it would be strange indeed, in commercial terms, if a grower could label his wine as something more prestigious but chose the Bordeaux AC for his bottles. The Entre-Deux-Mers region, between the Dordogne and Garonne rivers, is home to much of the production of generic Bordeaux on its clay, or sand and clay soils with occasional outcrops of limestone and gravels.

However, there are regulations and strictures that must be adhered to. To qualify for Bordeaux AC status the wine must naturally achieve 10% abv, and for Supérieur status the requirement is 10.5%. In actual fact the majority of wines are between 11% and 12.5 % abv, and as the climate warms up and vine canopy management and vineyard techniques continue to improve this may rise. Most reds from these appellations are designed to be drunk young.

At this level some of the fruit is machine harvested, though much is still picked by hand because of the narrow row width of most Bordeaux vineyards, and the winemaking is fairly standard, with temperature control now the norm and chaptalisation less common than it used to be. Barrels are not often used for these wines due to their expense, though large wooden vats or hand me down barrels previously used by a wealthier producer might be utilised. Such second-hand barrels require great care to be taken to maintain them.

Co-operatives still make most of these generic bottlings, but there are many smaller estates, many of them conscientious and making excellent wines that represent terrific value, that are finding the going tough in the prevailing economic climate and in the face of stiff competition at their price point from wines made in places where conditions and costs are more propitious for making fruity affordable wines. Négociants operate within Bordeaux and a good deal of the wine or grapes that make generic Bordeaux pass through the hands of companies like Maison Sichel and Dourthe.
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Château Pey La Tour

Pey La Tour is a model estate at Salleboeuf in the Entre-Deux-Mers, around 15km east of Bordeaux, and has been owned since 1990 by négociants Vignobles Dourthe. Dating back to the 18th century, the vineyards here still contain the ruins of the 13th century château which gave the estate its name, and today the vines span 146 hectares.

There are 90 different parcels of vines which are all vinified separately. Clay-limestone soils are used for producing fresh, concentrated merlot whereas compacted gravel plots are ideal for cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc.

Grapes are vinified in temperature-controlled stainless-steel tanks. Dourthe makes two wines under the Pey La Tour label and we buy the Réserve, which is the cream of the crop, aged in barriques for 12 months, 35-55% of which is new oak. The blend is usually up to 90% merlot, with around 5% cabernet sauvignon and small quantities of petit verdot and cabernet franc, producing a wine that is full of ripe fruit and charm.

Investment in the vineyards to reduce yields and improve quality, through a progressive replanting and vine retraining programme, has paid dividends here, and Pey La Tour performs consistently at the top of its misleadingly modest Bordeaux Supérieur appellation.

Bordeaux Vintage 2016 Bordeaux/Bordeaux Supérieur

Bordeaux has produced an abundance of superb wines in 2016. The reds exhibit real energy and vitality, with pure bouquets, plush silky tannins, plenty of mid-palate fruit and impressive length of flavour. Slightly lower-thanaverage alcohol levels, allied to the perfumed fruit and ripe tannins that typify the vintage, will ensure wines with exceptional balance and ageing potential. Comparisons of 2016 with previous vintages are hard to draw, and none of the owners and winemakers that we talked to during our visits were willing (or able) to suggest a similar vintage in terms of wine style. Nicolas Audebert, who makes the wines at Château Rauzan-Ségla, uses the description ‘un kilo de plumes’, or a pound of feathers for those preferring imperial measures, meaning that the wines have volume as opposed to weight. This comes closest to capturing the essence of the 2016s. Unlike last year, the successes of the 2016 vintage come from all corners of Bordeaux. Cabernets from the Médoc ripened...
Bordeaux has produced an abundance of superb wines in 2016. The reds exhibit real energy and vitality, with pure bouquets, plush silky tannins, plenty of mid-palate fruit and impressive length of flavour. Slightly lower-thanaverage alcohol levels, allied to the perfumed fruit and ripe tannins that typify the vintage, will ensure wines with exceptional balance and ageing potential. Comparisons of 2016 with previous vintages are hard to draw, and none of the owners and winemakers that we talked to during our visits were willing (or able) to suggest a similar vintage in terms of wine style. Nicolas Audebert, who makes the wines at Château Rauzan-Ségla, uses the description ‘un kilo de plumes’, or a pound of feathers for those preferring imperial measures, meaning that the wines have volume as opposed to weight. This comes closest to capturing the essence of the 2016s. Unlike last year, the successes of the 2016 vintage come from all corners of Bordeaux. Cabernets from the Médoc ripened beautifully from Margaux to Saint-Estèphe, as they did in PessacLéognan and the Graves, while both Pomerol and Saint-Emilion enjoyed a healthy, ripe merlot crop.

So-called second wines were almost uniformly excellent too. This is partly due to the fact that with cabernet sauvignon ripening so perfectly, many châteaux increased the proportion of that grape in their grand vin. The knock-on effect was that high-quality merlot grapes, normally destined for the first wine, ended up in the properties’ second wines, to their undoubted benefit.

One point of caution to note is that vineyards in some parts of Bordeaux this spring have been devastated by late frost (around 26th and 27th April), and consequently there will be little or no wine available from some châteaux in the 2017 vintage. The overused adage ‘buy now while stocks last’ may actually be relevant this year!
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2016 vintage reviews
2015 vintage reviews
2015 vintage reviews

Decanter

My favourite everydayclaret: 'Few wines deliver character and consistency of quality at such anaffordable price: concentrated, full-bodied, well-ripened, with a seductivehint of oaky spice. An obvious ...
My favourite everydayclaret: 'Few wines deliver character and consistency of quality at such anaffordable price: concentrated, full-bodied, well-ripened, with a seductivehint of oaky spice. An obvious match would be grilled juicy rump steak, but itwould turn a cheese and ham baguette into a very good meal, too.'
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- Sebastian Payne MW

Wolverhampton Express and Star

This is a very intense and concentrated wine, almostblack in colour. There is a burst of black berry aromas including cherries andblackberries, and a hint of spice. On the palate it is full and generous...
This is a very intense and concentrated wine, almostblack in colour. There is a burst of black berry aromas including cherries andblackberries, and a hint of spice. On the palate it is full and generous withsilky smooth tannins. Open and leave to breathe for a short time and you willbe impressed by this fleshy and delicious red.
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South Cambrian News

<span style='font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 10pt; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB;...
<span style='font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 10pt; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;'><font color="#000000">… an affordableclaret with vibrant merlot fruit and a savoury edge. - </font></span>
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Bev Thomas

Sunday Express

<span style='font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 10pt; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB;...
<span style='font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 10pt; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;'><font color="#000000">A classic Bordeauxblend of merlot with some cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot, this ripe andgenerous blend is full of lush, red berry fruits and blackcurrant notes. Thesavoury, slightly cedary, spicy twist on the finish makes it a grown-up redwith concentration and depth. - </font></span>
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Jamie Goode

Times of Tunbridge Wells

<span style='font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 10pt; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB;...
<span style='font-family: "Arial","sans-serif"; font-size: 10pt; mso-fareast-font-family: Calibri; mso-fareast-theme-font: minor-latin; mso-ansi-language: EN-GB; mso-fareast-language: EN-GB; mso-bidi-language: AR-SA;'><font color="#000000">This estate-grownblend, mostly merlot with a splash of cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot,throbs with a juicy kaleidoscope of red and black fruits. Its silk tannins,supple mouthfeel, suave spiced finish, deft oak (and integration) are all causefor joy. Classy wine from Vignobles Dourthe, an ultra-reliable high-qualitylarge merchant / grower. Certainly delivers at this price. Perfect for theSunday roast or hard cheeses.</font></span>.
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- James Viner

Vinosaurus

A classic right-bankblend.  Led by juicy, fruity merlot, with a little bit of cabernetsauvignon and petit verdot, this is a generous red and black cherry/berryblast, with a seductive hint of...
A classic right-bankblend.  Led by juicy, fruity merlot, with a little bit of cabernetsauvignon and petit verdot, this is a generous red and black cherry/berryblast, with a seductive hint of spice.  A steak would be great, but I’d beperfectly happy pairing this with a burger, frankly.
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- David Kermode

Weardale Gazette

 … although alowly Bordeaux Supérieur in appellation terms, [this] punches well above itsweight and has achieved an enviable reputation.

&#160;- Richard Esling&#160;

Manchester Evening News

If you're looking forclassic red Bordeaux at a decent price, nothing beats this for value. It's aluscious right-bank style where the accent is on merlot. Its dense blackcurrantfruit and hint of...
If you're looking forclassic red Bordeaux at a decent price, nothing beats this for value. It's aluscious right-bank style where the accent is on merlot. Its dense blackcurrantfruit and hint of savoury spice on the nose make it a great partner for roastbeef.
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- Andy Cronshaw

Western Mail

Rather good value …this carries a bouquet of dark plum fruit on the nose from the blend of 88%merlot, 10% cabernet sauvignon and that all-important 2% of petit verdot. Thefruit has a smidge of...
Rather good value …this carries a bouquet of dark plum fruit on the nose from the blend of 88%merlot, 10% cabernet sauvignon and that all-important 2% of petit verdot. Thefruit has a smidge of spice heat initially, then the mellow fruit leans in withsome dry savoury tones coming through towards the elegant finish.
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- Neil Cammies

Decanter

A wonderfullyaffordable Bordeaux full of vibrancy and freshness. Intense aromas ofblackberry alongside spiced soft tannins. It's full-bodied but refined, withjuicy fruit given structure by oak ageing. ...
A wonderfullyaffordable Bordeaux full of vibrancy and freshness. Intense aromas ofblackberry alongside spiced soft tannins. It's full-bodied but refined, withjuicy fruit given structure by oak ageing. Lovely now but will age.
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90/100 Georgie Hindle

Sussex Express

This is a model of agreat wine, far beyond its appellation status … Benchmark red Bordeaux. Blackfruit, subtle, spicy backbone and fine tannins. Top quality.

- Richard Esling

Country Life

<span...
<span style='font-size:10.0pt;font-family:"Arial",sans-serif;&#10;mso-fareast-font-family:Calibri;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-ansi-language:&#10;EN-GB;mso-fareast-language:EN-GB;mso-bidi-language:AR-SA'>A wonderfullyaffordable Bordeaux full of vibrancy and freshness. Intense aromas ofblackberry alongside spiced, soft tannins. It's full-bodied, but refined, withjuicy fruit given structure by oak ageing. Lovely now, but will age.</span>
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