Ormes de Pez has in the past taken reflected glory from Lynch (Haut-Batailley is stealing some of that now). We mustn't forget what a great, all-round wine this is in its own right. Formerly a Cru Bourgeois Exceptionnel, with excellent terroir and the benefit of Cazes investment and know-how, this is a great, affordable expression of classic St.-Estèphe structure, made in a traditional style.
At the time of the French Revolution, the current property was called Domaine de Pez (meaning ''peace'' in the local dialect). The elms (''ormes'') that have appeared on the bottle labels since 2003 grew on the grounds of the domaine until Dutch Elm disease struck in the 1950s.
In around 1880, Marie Cazes married Jean Guillou, the Ormes de Pez Cellar Master. He was sadly killed at the very beginning of the Great War and so Marie subsequently took over the business. Her brother Jean-Charles Cazes took over Ormes de Pez in 1940.
Vineyard manager Rafaël Destruhaut-Balladu uses integrated agriculture, including sustainable treatments, optimised plant-health control and fallow periods for soil rest. Grapes are harvested by hand.
Vinification is the responsibility of Daniel Llose and Nicolas Labenne. Grapes are divided into temperature-controlled stainless steel vats. Alcoholic fermentation and maceration last for around 20 days during which progressive cycles of 'rack and return' and pumping over are carried out. This traditional winemaking method prioritises gentle extraction of colour and tannins. The wine is then aged for around 15 months in French oak barrels, 45% of which are new oak.
Satellite photography has been used since 2010 to identify homogenous intra-parcel areas. An ongoing 'Massal selection' program preserves the genetic character of the vineyards, based on historical plantings at Ormes de Pez.
The château itself has been renovated as a smart guest house.