Ermes Pavese

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Ermes Pavese is a youthful grower in the commune of La Ruine just outside of the town of Morgex in the high Alps minutes from the summit of Mont Blanc. Pavese works the native grape known as Prié Blanc. Starting with barely two hectares of vineyards, situated at about 1200 meters above sea level, Pavese has gradually expanded his holdings in this high altitude zone. He now produces three versions of Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle. Because these vineyards are so isolated, Pavese has been able to work with the original, pre-phylloxera root stock since that malady never infiltrated this area when it came sweeping through Europe many years ago.
PAVESE-SPARKLING Ermes Pavese Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle Metodo Classico: A wine of miniscule production, Ermes Pavese makes between 700 and 1,200 bottles of this “Champagne method” Prié Blanc a year. He makes it only in riper vintages when he feels the grapes have an appropriate balance for sparkling wine. The wine sees a combination of stainless steel tank aging, bottle aging on lees pre-disgorgement, and bottle aging post disgorgement. It is hand riddled, and hand disgorged with no dosage added. As unusual as it is delicious, this wine is at once rich and quite dry, speaking clearly of its Alpine origin, with delicate smokiness and lemon curd on the nose, and full, earthy minerality on the palate.
Pavese-Ermes-BLANC-DE-MORGEX-2007 Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle: A stunning wine from the highest vineyard site in Europe, with annual production of about 12,000 bottles of this austere, racy, mineral white wine with vivacity and length.
Pavese-Ermes-NATHAN-2005 Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle “Nathan”: a tiny cuvée selected for its richness that is exposed to barrel fermentation and barrel ageing.
Pavese-NINIVE Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle, Vino de Uve Stramatura Ninive: from a harvest after the first frosts of winter, frequently occurring in early December; essentially an “ice wine” that achieves a formidable concentration.
Download Pavese Tech Sheet
Domaine NameAzienda Vitivinicola Pavese Ermes
Family/Owners NamePavese
How many years has the family owned the domaine?17
How many generations?1
How many hectares of vines are leased?1
How many hectares of vines are owned?5
Are your vineyards or wines Organic or Biodynamic Certified? If yes, in the EU? In the US? If no, are you in the process of becoming certified? No
Describe your vineyard management practices (e.g. low-intervention, organic, biodynamic, standard, etc.).All treatments are organic. We do not use desiccants. Number of annual treatments: approximately 3 or 4. Horse manure (in the vineyards, on a rotation basis)
Do you practice green harvest? Leaf thinning? How do you fertilize?
Do you do field work and harvest manually? By machine? By horse?We harvest manually.
Do you sell off any of your wine en vrac/allo sfuso? Do you typically sell or buy any grapes? I purchase about 5 tons of grapes from a wine grower who follows the same grape growing methods. We don't sell grapes.
WINE #1
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationValle D'Aosta DOP - Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle 2015
Cepage/UvaggioPrié Blanc
% Alcohol by volume0.12
# of bottles producedApproximately 16,000
Grams of Residual SugarLess than 1 gram per liter
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Exposures and slope of vineyardsThe configuration of the land in Valle d’Aosta is characterized by a sunny area (adrèt) on the left side of the Dorathe. the Dora Baltea river and a shady area (revers) on the right side of the same river. The vineyards of "prié blanc" are all located in the adrèt area.
Soil Types(s)Mountain sand - morainic soil
Average vine age (per vineyard)Between 3 and 50 years old
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)Approximately 800 plants per hectare
Approximate harvest date(s)September 1-7, 2015. Early harvesting (usually, harvesting starts in the third or fourth week of September). July was very warm and very dry and the grapes suffered from the lack of rain. One week in mid-August was very rainy. Very narrow range of temperatures. 50% reduction in production. Definitely, an unusual albeit not uncommon harvest (also in 2008 harvesting was in the first two weeks of September), with warmer and more intense grapes.
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
whole cluster, % destemmed, %No destalking
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeSlow fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats.
Duration of contact with leesAbout 8­10 days
Select or indigenous yeast?Cultured yeasts on the "blanc de morgex" and international yeasts (depending on the situation).
Please describe wine making process for EACH wine such as: pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationClassic white vinification. All the vats have a mechanical shovel for automatic batonnage for about 7-8 months. The wine remains on the fine lees throughout the whole process. Racking is then done a few times before bottling. 80% Malolactic fermentation. No sugar added.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Ageing in large steel vats(min. 5,000 liters, max. 6,400 liters ) and bottles (0.75 liter e 1,5 liter)
Duration of elevageMinimum 2 months
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US marketBetween 5 and 10 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeWe use ceramic cross flow filters
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?Sulphites are added before the fermentation, every time the wine is racked and before bottling. Total sulphur dioxide content: 84 milligrams per liter. Well-balanced right away, less acidic and with a good bouquet.
WINE #2
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationValle D'Aosta DOP ­ Pavese XVIII ­ Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle
Cepage/UvaggioPrié Blanc
% Alcohol by volume0.13
# of bottles producedAbout 3,000
Grams of Residual Sugar1.5 gram per liter
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Exposures and slope of vineyardsThe configuration of the land in Valle D'Aosta is characterized by a sunny area (adrèt) on the left side the Dora Baltea river and a shady area (revers) on the right side of the same river. The vineyards of "prié blanc" are all located in the adrèt area.
Soil Types(s)Mountain sand -morainic soil
Average vine age (per vineyard)Between 3 and 30 years old
Average Vine Density (vines/HA)About 800 plants per hectare
Approximate harvest date(s)October 6­26, 2013. Harvesting was pushed back (usually it starts in the third or fourth week of September). A very cold Summer. Grapes struggled to ripen. September was warm with a nice range of temperatures. It snowed during harvesting. Quantitatively, a remarkable production. The harvest definitely gave us more acidic grapes that were suitable for ageing.
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
whole cluster, % destemmed, %No destalking
Fermentation: vessel type and size Slow fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats
Duration of fermentationAbout 10 days
Duration of contact with leesFrom the very beginning and throughout the entire fermentation
Select or indigenous yeast?Cultured yeasts on the "blanc de morgex" and international yeasts
Please describe wine making process for EACH wine such as: pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationClassic white vinification. Automatic batonnage for about 10 months. Wine is racked a few times. Partial malolactic fermentation and addition of sugar for the "prise de mousse" (effervescence).
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Ageing in steel vats (5,000 liters) and bottles (0.75 liter and 1.5 liter)
Duration of elevageMinimum 1 month
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US marketAbout 5 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeWe use ceramic cross flow filters
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?During the fermentation, while racking and before bottling. Total sulfur dioxide: 124 milligrams per liter. Perfect vintage for a classic method because of the good acidity of the grapes.
SPARKLING WINES ONLY. Is preparation done in-house or outsourced? For this vintage (2013), we used the grapes with a lower sugar content for the classic method. All the phases of our classic method take place in our cellar. We use a company for bottling and "deblocage" (sale of the new wine; the company comes to our cellar with the bottling line).
What is the dosage? How many months “sur lattes”? Vinification in method champenoise or charmat?Pavese XVIII : on the yeasts for 18 months. Pavese XXIIII: on the yeasts for 24 months. Pavese XXXIV: on the yeasts for 36 months. No "liqueur d'expedition" (solution of sugar and wine) was added. To fill the bottles, we used wine from the same year. In order to fill Pavese XXIIII and XXXIV, we set aside some Magnum.
WINE #3
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationNinive­ wine from overripe grapes
UvaggioPrié Blanc
% Alcohol by volume0.14
# of bottles producedAbout 1,000
Grams of Residual SugarApproximately 40 grams per liter
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Exposures and slope of vineyardsThe configuration of the land in Valle D'Aosta is characterized by a sunny area (adrèt) on the left side the Dora Baltea river and a shady area (revers) on the right side of the same river. The vineyards of "prié blanc" are all located in the adrèt area.
Soil Types(s)Mountain sand ­ morainic soil
Average vine age (per vineyard)Between 3 and 30 years old
Approximate harvest date(s)April 20, 1900
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
whole cluster, % destemmed, %No destalking
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeSlow fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats
Duration of contact with leesFrom the very beginning until the end of the fermentation
Duration of contact with the skinsThere are no skins in this type of grapes
Select or indigenous yeast?International yeasts
Please describe wine making process for EACH wine such as: pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationFrozen grapes are pressed and put into vats. The must is brought to the right temperature for fermentation; frequent manual batonnage and no sugar added.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Ageing in small steel vats and bottles (0.50 liter)
Duration of elevageMinimum a month
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US marketFrom 5 to 10 months
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeWe use ceramic cross flow filters
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? ?During the fermentation, while racking and before bottling
WINE #4
GENERAL INFORMATION
AppellationValle D'Aosta DOP ­ Le Sette scalinate ­ Carlo Pavese ­ Blanc de Morgex et de la Salle 2014
Cepage/UvaggioPrié Blanc
% Alcohol by volume0.13
# of bottles produced233 Magnum
Grams of Residual Sugar2.0 grams per liter
VINEYARD AND GROWING INFORMATION
Vineyard/ name(s) and locationsLe Sette scalinate
Exposures and slope of vineyardsThe configuration of the land in Valle D'Aosta is characterized by a sunny area (adrèt) on the left side the Dora Baltea river and a shady area (revers) on the right side of the same river. The vineyards of "prié blanc" are all located in the adrèt area. This vineyards grow on terraces.
Soil Types(s)Mountainous soil
Average vine age (per vineyard)70 years old
Approximate harvest date(s)September 20­26, 2014. Harvesting took place between September 20 and 30, while it was sunny and warm. July was very rainy (29 rainy days), August and September were warm with a good range of temperatures. Good quantity and quality of grapes. Our last harvest was in this vineyard. The grapes were definitely richer that in 2013 and they are comparable with the grapes harvested in 2011.
WINEMAKING/CELLAR INFORMATION
whole cluster, % destemmed, %No destalking
Fermentation: vessel type and sizeSlow fermentation in temperature-controlled stainless steel vats
Duration of fermentationAbout 10 days
Duration of contact with leesFrom the very beginning and throughout the entire fermentation
Duration of contact with the skins48 hours
Select or indigenous yeast?Cultures yeasts for the "blanc de morgex" and international yeasts.
Please describe wine making process for EACH wine such as: pump-overs, punch-downs, racking, movement/transfer of wine done by gravity or pumping?), battonnage, malolactic fermentation allowed, chaptalizationGrapes are crushed in the press and left to macerate for approximately 48 hours. The fermentation is delayed by cooling the press with cold running water. After two days, grapes are pressed; frequent manual batonnage and malolactic fermentation. No sugar added.
Elevage: vessel type(s) and size(s)Ageing in small steel vats and bottles (1.50 liter)
Duration of elevageMinimum one year
Duration of bottle ageing before release to US marketAt least one year
Do you practice fining and filtration? If yes, please describeWe use ceramic cross flow filters
Do you add sulfur? If so when and how much? How much sulfur remains in the wine at release?During the fermentation, while racking and before bottling. Total sulphur dioxide: 114 milligrams per liter. A good, intense vintage with full bouquet. Better than 2012, but it cannot be compared with 2010. It is a wine that should be evaluated in 4 or 5 years.

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88 Ermes PaveseValle d’Aosta Blanc de Morgex et de La Salle 2014 $30

Apple, straw and lemon flavors mark this juicy white, which features a chalky underpinning, finishing with a touch of grip. Prié Blanc. Drink now. 7253 bottles imported. – B.S. (Bruce Sanderson)

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