Gérard Perse, despite being unknown in Bordeaux until the early-1990s, is perhaps now one of the most recognised and also controversial figures in the entire region. Having arrived in Bordeaux at the start of the decade, his pockets stuffed with the profits generated by the sale of two of his retail businesses, Gérard was keen to equip himself with an attractive château and vineyard. His first acquisition was Château Monbousquet in 1993, a rather lowly estate down on the sandy soils of the plains that run from the limestone plateau of St Emilion down to the Dordogne. A few years later came Château Pavie-Decesse, and soon afterwards Château Pavie itself.
Gérard invested heavily in all his estates, and he stamped his stylistic preferences on the wines. This has been most apparent with Château Pavie, the work on the château stopping just short of an entire rebuild, and the wine – barely recognisable compared to the wines turned out here in the late 1980s – now fetched once unheard-of prices. It was perhaps no surprise that the estate was elevated to the Class ‘A’ level of the 2012 revision of the St Emilion classification.