Chateau Pegau Cuvee Maclura 2013
Enjoy this versatile, food-friendly wine on its own, with red meats (grilled, roasted, charcuterie), or with hearty vegetarian fare.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Paul was one of four children. Feeling that was too many he decided to have one child, and hit the jackpot with brilliant daughter Laurence. Paul spent the first half of his career cultivating his 17 acres of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. 90% of the production was sold in bulk to top Negociants; the remaining 10% was bottled as Cuvee Reservee, thus the origin of the name for the basic Chateauneuf.
In 1987 Laurence joined her father and created the Domaine du Pegau. Born to grow wine, she took courses in both viticulture and the beverage alcohol business. She sold wine in Paris, but wanted to come home. Excellent at both winegrowing and business, it took her but five years to build bottle sales from 10 to 100% of production! Since then, her purchases have expanded the vineyards in Chateauneuf to 42+ acres.
Laurence does not have a single arrogant or snobbish molecule in her body, but she is restless and ambitious. In 2012 a large property called Domaine de la Jouve came up for sale. Four miles from Pegau, it is on the banks of the Rhone in the town of Sorgues. It consists of 148 acres and a large rundown Chateau of 10,000 square feet. The ~101 acres of vineyards include 62 of Cotes du Rhone Villages and 12 of Cotes du Rhone, with the balance Vin de Table. Laurence bought it and rechristened it Chateau Pegau.
Typically thought of as a baby Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the term Côtes du Rhone actually doesn’t merely apply to the flatter outskirts of the major southern Rhône appellations, it also includes the fringes of well-respected northern Rhône appellations. White can be produced under the appellation name, but very little is actually made.
The region offers some of the best values in France and even some first-rate and age-worthy reds. Red varieties include most of the Chateauneuf-du-Pape varieties like Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Cinsault, and Counoise, as well as Carignan. White grapes grown include Grenache blanc, Roussanne and Viognier, among others.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.
In the Glass
The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.
Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.
Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.