2015 Domaine du Pegau, Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge, Cuvée Réservée, Rhone Valley, France.
Domaine du Pegau is one of the go to estates in Chateauneuf du Pape, run by Paul Feraud and his daughter winemaker Laurence, and these hand crafted traditional wines are some of the most authentic and sought after in the region. The Férauds have been growing vines in Châteauneuf-du-Pape since 1670, with titles to their earliest vineyards dating back to at least 1733, but older generation of the Férauds sold most of their production in bulk to top négociants, that have included the likes of Jaboulet-Aine, David & Foillard and even Guigal. That changed in 1964, when Paul decided to sell 5,000 bottles under his own label, which brought in a new era of estate bottlings, but it was until Laurence came on the scene that the true greatest of the estate became clear, when in 1987 they started the Domaine du Pegau. Pegau now has over 50 acres of prime vineyards with a lot being old vine parcels and Laurence is making some awesome stuff, including this incredible 2015 Cuvée Réservée, which was made from 60 year old plus vines set on limestone and clay soils with scattered stones and some sand. These Cuvée Réservée Rouge by Domaine du Pegau are intense wines with transparent layers of fascinating pure flavors that can only be from this terroir, they are dense, luxurious and almost chocolatey, but with studied finesse and with a noticeable lower natural alcohol than some other top wines.
The 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée Rouge, was made up of about 80% Grenache, 6% Syrah, 4% Mourvèdre, and 10% of many other authorized varietals, but including Counoise, Cinsault, and Vaccarèse, and the Grenache stands out in this warm vintage with loads of creme de cassis, pomegranate, plum and red berry fruit along with hints of tar, earth, spice and roasted herbs leading the way on the full bodied palate. The tannins are firm, but sweet and ripe allowing this concentrated Châteauneuf-du-Pape to deliver its full array of flavors and complex depths, this is absolutely Chateauneuf at its best! The aftertaste is amazing in detail and length and even in this warm year it remains fresh with this deep red wine adding boysenberry, fig paste, camphor, a touch of peppercorns, cedar and black licorice along with a subtle floral essence, including a hint of lilac and lavender. Laurence fermented this vintage using classic techniques with whole cluster and indigenous yeasts in cement vats, she says maceration and primary lasted about two weeks before the juice was racked into a big casks, she uses well seasoned 5,000 liter oak foudres, and the elevage lasted for close to 18 months, then bottled unfined and unfiltered. This brilliant, dark purple/garnet, powerfully rich Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the stuff of legends, enjoy over the next decade and a half. This is stellar Rhone goodness, and I also loved their Clairette based Blanc too, along with the set of Cotes du Rhone(s), Pegau is rock star solid top to bottom.
($100 Est.) 95 Points, grapelive