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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.
Product Code: CB5181A
View all products by 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.
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.
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!
"This is quite a refined wine for the price and drinking nicely but will surely improve over a couple of years. Recommended!"
"This is quite a refined wine for the price and drinking nicely but will surely improve over a couple of years. Recommended!"
Times of Tunbridge Wells 2nd Oct 2019
blend, 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 cause
for joy. Classy wine from Vignobles Dourthe, an ultra-reliable high-quality
large merchant / grower. Certainly delivers at this price. Perfect for the
Sunday roast or hard cheeses.. - James Viner"
Sunday Express 1st Sep 2019
"A classic Bordeaux
blend of merlot with some cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot, this ripe and
generous blend is full of lush, red berry fruits and blackcurrant notes. The
savoury, slightly cedary, spicy twist on the finish makes it a grown-up red
with concentration and depth. - Jamie Goode"
South Cambrian News 29th Aug 2019
"… an affordable
claret with vibrant merlot fruit and a savoury edge. - Bev Thomas"
Wolverhampton Express and Star 3rd Aug 2019
"This is a very intense and concentrated wine, almost
black in colour. There is a burst of black berry aromas including cherries and
blackberries, and a hint of spice. On the palate it is full and generous with
silky smooth tannins. Open and leave to breathe for a short time and you will
be impressed by this fleshy and delicious red. "
Decanter 5th Jun 2019
"My favourite everyday
claret: 'Few wines deliver character and consistency of quality at such an
affordable price: concentrated, full-bodied, well-ripened, with a seductive
hint of oaky spice. An obvious match would be grilled juicy rump steak, but it
would turn a cheese and ham baguette into a very good meal, too.' - Sebastian Payne MW"
"Learning from experience I decanted this several hours before drinking - result a very pleasant fruity claret - recommended"
Mr David Welland (04-Jan-2019)
Plymouth Herald (1st Dec 2017)
"This time a more mature or lighter colour shows the
wines extra year in bottle. Soft easy Merlot based Claret it has an easily
accessible style or quaffability! This one will also be excellent for all the
extra spicy lots on the Christmas table. - Stephen Barrett"
decanter.com (5th Jun 2017)
"Mostly merlot, this
has a rich cherry nose, with light grassiness. Medium-bodied with light tannins
and some grip. Made in large volumes, but well-crafted. No rush to drink. - Stephen Brook"
Sheffield Profile (1st May 2017)
"Now this is a treat.
Recommended with roast lamb, it is heavy with black fruit and spices. It's a
ripe, rich number to savour."
Shropshire Star (12th Apr 2017)
"An attractive black
fruit nose with a hint of mint and spice. Sweet ripe fruit on the palate with
silky tannins and a rich harmonious finish. - Sharon Waters"
Suffolk Free Press (30th Mar 2017)
"Has an impressive
purity of fruit - plums and blackcurrants, supple tannins, good structure,
well-measured oak and a lingering finish. - Neil Courtier"
South Cambrian News (9th Mar 2017)
"Rich and spicy and
fairly dark in colour, perhaps from its dash of petit verdot, that rounds out
the blend of merlot and cabernet sauvignon. - Bev Thomas"
"Colour: Deep ruby red with a dark cherry rim.
Aroma: Raspberry, blackcurrants, plum, dried herbs, violets, chocolate, leather and vanilla with a touch of spice and a savoury meatiness.
Taste: Med-full bodied, structured, robust chewy tannic backbone, grainy texture. Full flavoured, chocolate, tobacco and raspberry on the palate with a nice bitter-sweet liquorice aftertaste.
Overall: A nice typical cassis driven Bordeaux. Good balance of oak and fruit, ripe and flavoursome. Drinking well at 5 years, good QPR and worth a try.
Mr Gabriel Higgins (25-Nov-2018)
Scotland on Sunday (27th Nov 2016)
"For those bored with
today's immodest fruit-forward reds, here is a very traditional claret style.
Behind its classic Bordeaux nose there is predictable minty, blackcurrant and
bramble fruit with gentle acidity. Enter then, though, the firm tannin twists
and graphite minerality that makes this region's wines so distinctive. - Brian Elliott"
Decanter (25th Jan 2017)
"Big, meaty nose with
a hint of creamy oak. The palate is mellow but has a generous black berry
fruit, with spice and floral hints, real elegance and length. Lovely. - Jane Anson"
Manchester Evening News (15th Oct 2016)
great value wine from Entre-Deux-Mers, this time a red with rounded fruit and
spicy oak. A great match for grouse, game pie or a warming beef stew.
- Andy Cronshaw
Western Mail (20th Sep 2016)
"A deep ruby red wine
from Entre Deuxs Mers, it’s a typical Bordeaux blend, with merlot leading
from the front with a small amount of cabernet franc and cabernet
sauvignon. This réserve wine is aged in oak for 12 months, some of it
new, which adds to the flavour intensity. Aromas of fresh plums, splintered
wood and vanilla don’t dilly and dally; they have you hooked from the off,
before leading you into soft flavours of ripe fruits with spicy flecks. - Jane Clare"
Portsmouth News (10th Sep 2016)
"Proves there is some
good value to be found in Bordeaux at this price level. This is the reserve
bottling of this well-known Bordeaux estate, its merlot dominating a little
cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc. It has ripe blackberry and cassis, spice
and background oak. It’s medium to full-bodied with some complexity and is
going to work really well with roast beef on Sunday. - Alistair Gibson"
Decanter (1st Jun 2016)
here the fruit is well held together, lovely touches of redcurrant-soaked
brioche and gentle spice on the finish. This is not a powerful wine, but a
pretty one. Merlot 90%, cabernet sauvignon 5%, cabernet franc 5%.
- Jane Anson
"Has to be 5 stars. Fruity, juicy, blackberry, cassis. Can't recommend this more highly. Hope the 2012 is as good."
Mr Gordon Allan (22-Sep-2016)
"A star, really good Bordeaux. 90% merlot apparently, some complexity and typically 'French', more akin to a Pomerol in style (but at half the price). Drinking well now and tastes like it will improve way beyond TWS suggested best-by 2018. Definite re-order, a case for Xmas and beyond."
Mr Tim Potts (26-Nov-2015)
Surrey Advertiser (15th Jan 2016)
"...fights well above
its 'Bordeaux Superieur' label. The property lies between St. Emilion and
Bordeaux city where the clay-limestone soils support a blend of merlot (90%),
cabernet sauvignon (5%), cabernet franc (3%) and petit verdot (2%). The result
is a blackcurrant pleaser with friendly tannins and a spicy plum finish... - John Downes MW"
Norfolk & Suffolk Life (1st Oct 2015)
"Chilly autumn nights
call for hearty fare and bigger fuller-bodied red wines. This will absolutely
hit the spot.This is a classic right bank merlot-dominated Bordeaux blend (with
splashes of cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc and petit verdot making up the
rest). Think wonderful opulent, plummy and fruitcake flavours balnced with
freshness and grippy tannins - just the ticket to drink alongside a roast rib
of beef on the bone. - Alex Layton"
Shropshire Star (30th Sep 2015)
"Watching the rugby?
Representing France, this Merlot-dominated red has the body of a rugby player
with a warm, soft underbelly. It has intense red berry aromas with raspberry
and wild blackberry flavours on the palate. Its velvety tannins are well balanced
finishing with a touch of oak spice. This is sensationally good value for a
claret, and will enjoy a successful tackle with a Sunday roast."
Kent & Sussex Courier (24th Sep 2015)
90%-merlot Bordeaux red over-delivers on every point and sports the physique of
a rugby player with a satiny underbelly. The full-bodied velvety pallet has
pure cassis, plum, raspberry, fruitcake and ripe blackcurrant fruit, with a
dusting of oak spice and rounded tannins in precisely judged support. Tackle it
with Sunday lamb roast and grouse during the Rugby World Cup. It's
sensationally good value. - James Viner"
South Cambrian News (17th Sep 2015)
"Chateau Pey la Tour
Reserve 2011, with its jammy berries and silky textures, is a great wine to
share with friends. - Bev Thomas"
The Press Association (26th Sep 2015)
claret - cherries, blackberries, integrated oak-spice, smooth, well-balanced
and immediately satisfying. - Sam Wylie Harris"
Cambridge Wine Blogger (10th Sep 2015)
dark plum fruit and good structure with some aged complexity - an
athletic-yet-deft rugby player of a wine. - Tom Lewis"
"Decanted this for two hours before drinking, not sure if my description will do it justice, but here goes, dark red in colour , I could smell spices and fruit, quite fruity with a slight acidity. It feels quite smooth and rounded, I think will only improve if left a little longer. Would definately order again. I enjoyed it with a nice Sirloin Steak."
Mr Colin Steele (31-Jan-2015)
Decanter (27th May 2015)
"This huge 200ha
vineyard in Entre-Deux-Mers offers consistently excellent value for money.
Deliciously fruity, it displays aromas of blackcurrant and plum, with fresh
acidity balancing the fruit. - Christelle Guibert"
Chichester Observer (23rd Apr 2015)
"The blend is
dominated by 90 per cent merlot, with smaller amounts of other grapes, and
there are smooth up-front flavours of ripe plums, blueberries and
blackcurrants, plus hints of oak. Great for roast beef or lamb. - Peter Homer"
The Independent on Sunday (19th Apr 2015)
the notion that most claret at this kind of price is a waste of time, this is
sensationally good value from a very decent estate in a great vintage. The
merlot-dominated blend delivers ripe, full-bodied, juicy, smooth blackberry
cassis flavours. Perfect with a rib of beef or rump steak. - Terry Kirby"
York Press (18th Apr 2015)
"A modern tasting
Bordeaux Supérieur and a top-quality wine for around a tenner. Made
predominantly with merlot grapes, there's a little cabernet and petit verdot in
the mix too, it is rich and smooth. Plum and raspberry fruit flavours, which
are not overplayed, combine with polished leather, chocolate and some spicy,
toasted oak notes. - Mike Tipping"
The Mail on Sunday (5th Apr 2015)
"Of course, the
classic option of a red Bordeaux with a leg of lamb studded with garlic and
rosemary is hard to beat such as the glory of this wine. - Olly Smith"
York Press (14th Mar 2015)
"If you normally shy
away from Bordeaux reds, in favour of New World wines, do give this a try. Made
mainly with merlot, it has a supple, mouth-filling structure, with notes of
toasty oak, leather, chocolate, spice and up-front flavours of plum and raspberry. - Mike Tipping"
Kent & Sussex Courier (13th Mar 2015)
ripe and toasty claret… It's a plump merlot-dominated red with super-fine
tannins and great delicacy offering knockout aromas and flavours of pretty red-
and blackcurrant fruit, crème de cassis and notes of mocha and cigar box. This
is a frighteningly good price for such a supple and rich claret from an
outstanding vintage. A definite match for roast Easter lamb / beef / veal as
well as game pies. If there's any left it would be epic with such cheeses as
Gouda, Cantal and Cheddar. Do not miss out on this plush coup of finesse and value
from Vignobles Dourthe; there's pure enjoyment in every sniff and sip. It
punches above its proverbial weight. - James Viner"
"Problem with cork screw which was disappointing."
Miss Florence Chung (08-Mar-2015)
"Full bodied and smooth tasting wine that had a powerful nose. Try it!"
Mr F P Wood (09-Nov-2014)
"Liquorice Allsorts and blackcurrants on the nose. As I'm finishing this bottle 48h after opening and it's at its best now. Dark cherry fruit with a grandure, leather and cigar, long finish. Watch out there was sediment in bottle! Very good wine."
Mr Anthony O'Halloran (01-Nov-2014)
"One of the reasons I joined TWS was to explore a wider range of ever changing wines and once again I've had my eyes opened to something special. For years I avoided French wines as being wishy-washy, over-priced and overrated, especially those from the Bordeaux region. This is none of those as this is a big, bold wine (that I never knew existed in Bordeaux), fantastic value and absolutely delicious to drink at what is now probably its peak. As always, these wines need food and with slow-braised Brisket this wine opened up with so much class and balance that it almost brought a tear to my wife's eye - because I refused to share it with her and her Chicken dish."
Mr John Dryburgh (02-Aug-2014)
thewinegang.com (2nd Mar 2015)
"The top-end wine for
this Dourthe property in Entre Deux Mers, it has generous black fruit aromas
with a hint of Marmite spice. The tannins are still very lively so it seriously
needs a robust plate of food. A charming classic. - The Wine Gang"
Daily Express (15th Nov 2014)
full-bodied claret full of tangy blackcurrant and red fruit flavours."
Cambridgewineblogger.com (27th Jan 2014)
Aromas of leather, woodiness and cedar on the
nose; soft, juicy palate with a grippy pepperiness. - Tom Lewis
York Press (11th Jan 2014)
"This is a
full-bodied, modern-tasting, claret with a velvety texture. Cherry and plum
fruit flavours abound, with notes of dark chocolate, spice and some smooth,
supple tannins. - Mike Tipping"
Shropshire Star (20th Nov 2013)
"A modern red Bordeaux
with redcurrants, cassis and a hint of vanilla on the nose. A generous ripe
palate with silky tannins. Serve with turkey or goose. "
The Independent (22nd Nov 2013)
This is a ripe and full-flavoured red is the
perfect match for a Sunday roast-beef lunch. Blackcurrant and red fruit
dominate the palate with a nice refreshing acidity and a long-lingering
finish. And the texture is like velvet.
- Kate Hilpern
Chichester Observer (16th Nov 2013)
"A sound Bordeaux
Supérieur … up-front tastes of plums and blackberries with touches of chocolate
and coffee … a powerful red wine, robust enough to complement the turkey and
trimmings. - Peter Homer"
Profile (Sheffield Star) (1st Aug 2013)
"From one of the finest terroirs in the appellation' boasts the label. Lives up to the hype, with a luscious and smooth palate of blackberries and spice with some creaminess. Made from 95% merlot plus cabernet sauvignon and petit verdot. "
Cambridge Wine Blogger (10th May 2013)
"A right-bank Merlot with a bit of bottle age, this is purple in the glass. On the nose, there are aromas of coffee grounds, cigar box, forest fruits and a touch of spice. The palate is soft and supple with an inky texture and generous, well-rounded tannins - the ripe fruit is balanced by savouriness. Nicely mellow on the mid-palate, the finish is gently persistent. Match with slow-roasted red meats - there is just a touch of gaminess, so venison would be an especially good match. - Tom Lewis"
Dumfries & Galloway Life (1st May 2013)
"Blackberry fruit nicely integrated with hints of spice and that attractive local graphite minerality. - Brian Elliott"
"I've long been a fan of Dourthe and have enjoyed the Society's Chateau Pey la Tour on several occasions. But my latest bottle of this vintage is really delicious - good acidity but with subtle overtones that one associates with claret at twice the price. Keeps well after opening. I'll certainly buy again if it's not sold out."
Dr Christopher Currie (15-Jul-2011)
"A fabulous wine -- gets better and better in the glass. Wonderful value for the money."
Mr Nick Chadwick (04-Oct-2009)
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