Domaine du Pegau Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Reservee (3 Liter Bottle) 2009
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This was a great showing for the 2009 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Réservée, and while I’ve drunk close to a case of this beauty, it’s never shown as well as on this occasion. A massive bouquet of kirsch liqueur, blackberries, garrigue, truffle, spice, and loads of other magical Southern Rhône goodness all emerge from this stunning Châteauneuf Du Pape. Full-bodied and powerful, it nevertheless stays balanced, light on its feet, and is a singular beauty that could come from nowhere else. It’s not for those looking for lightweight flavors or aromas (or for the brett adverse), but it will knock your socks off over the coming 20 years or more.
The 2009 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Réservée is a terrific effort still in its prime. Marked by scents of sweaty horse tack, it's also loaded with sweet black cherries, hints of smoke and dried herbs. Full-bodied and velvety, it finishes long and rich, with the suggestion of warm generosity. I suspect not everyone will love this wine, but for me, it beautifully captures the character of great, traditional Southern Rhônes.
Ancestors of father and daughter team Paul and Laurence Féraud farmed olives, cherries and grapes in Chateauneuf-du-Pape dating back to the 17th century. The methods established centuries ago carry on in the current vintages, creating robust, concentrated, traditional red and white wines. For many years the winery was known as Domaine Feraud fils and they made traditional Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
In 1987 Domaine du Pegau was formed as we know it today, when Laurence Feraud returned from her winemaking studies and she teamed up with her father Paul to create the winery. Complementing each other they have conserved the authenticity and quality of their Chateauneuf-du-Pape whilst bringing it to the attention of wine lovers around the world.
Famous for its full-bodied, seductive and spicy reds with flavor and aroma characteristics reminiscent of black cherry, baked raspberry, garrigue, olive tapenade, lavender and baking spice, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the leading sub-appellation of the southern Rhône River Valley. Large pebbles resembling river rocks, called "galets" in French, dominate most of the terrain. The stones hold heat and reflect it back up to the low-lying gobelet-trained vines. Though the galets are typical, they are not prominent in every vineyard. Chateau Rayas is the most obvious deviation with very sandy soil.
According to law, eighteen grape varieties are allowed in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and most wines are blends of some mix of these. For reds, Grenache is the star player with Mourvedre and Syrah coming typically second. Others used include Cinsault, Counoise and occasionally Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Picquepoul Noir and Terret Noir.
Only about 6-7% of wine from Châteauneuf-du-Pape is white wine. Blends and single-varietal bottlings are typically based on the soft and floral Grenache Blanc but Clairette, Bourboulenc and Roussanne are grown with some significance.
The wine of Chateauneuf-du-Pape takes its name from the relocation of the papal court to Avignon. The lore says that after moving in 1309, Pope Clément V (after whom Chateau Pape-Clément in Pessac-Léognan is named) ordered that vines were planted. But it was actually his successor, John XXII, who established the vineyards. The name however, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, translated as "the pope's new castle," didn’t really stick until the 19th century.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.