Impressive vertical of Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reservee Chateauneuf du pape: 2004 – 2007
I attended a friend’s birthday party last night, also a passionate wine lover, and I was fortunate to taste an impressive line-up of wines from a producer I absolutely love. Domaine du Pegau maintains a classic style of wine-making, the wines not only age superbly, but they have a certain freshness and very good ability to drink, unlike the more modern, fat and heady Chateauneuf’s.
I already tasted a couple of times the 2004 Cuvee Reservee of Domaine du Pegau and always found it just a fabulous wine. Last night’s vertical consisted of 4 different vintages: 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2007. All four vintages were different in Chateauneuf du pape and the wines perfectly reflect those characteristics.
– 2004 was a bit cooler and produced more mineral wines with great freshness;
– 2005 was superb – just as in the rest of France, the wines have structure and will age long;
– 2006 a good vintage, but shadowed by the quality of 2005;
– 2007 a superb vintage in Chateauneuf du pape and generally the Rhone valley – unlike the rest of France, producing wines with perfectly ripe tannins, hedonistic fruit and amazing accessibility already.
After tasting the four wines, I can make the following remarks:
– 2004 and 2005 have the most similarities: fine grained tannins, great freshness and a touch more mineral character.
– both 2006 and 2007 have assertive and more pronounced tannins, bigger and riper fruit, while the texture shows more concentration on the palate.
My absolute favorite was 2004 followed by 2007, 2005 and 2006 in this order.
2004 Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reservee Chateauneuf du pape
Saturated red ruby color. Superb nose, well developed, intense and very expressive, combining fresh red fruits with game, meat, graphite and spices. Full bodied, with a killer acidity, this wine has the minerality and the character of a Northern Rhone Syrah (reminded me of 2006 Thierry Allemand Reynard Cornas: odd but lovely !), savoury, long and really delicious. Long finish, with great freshness and some lovely thyme and sage flavors. This is fully accessible now and just a pleasure to drink. Will continue to age well also. 14% alc. (94+/100)
2005 Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reservee Chateauneuf du pape
This wine was uncorked early in the morning, then re-corked and placed in the fridge for a slow oxygenation until 18:30 when we drank it. Even in these conditions, the wine still seems to hide more secrets.
Same saturated ruby red color. Well developed and intense nose, but not having the same palette of aromatics as 2004. It shows great fresh red fruit, spices and probably less meaty, but still resembles the 2004. Full bodied, with fine grained tannins and more structured in the mouth, the wine combines red berry fruits, spices, thyme, a touch of graphite and licorice with a lively acidity and welcoming freshness. Long finish, but not as convincing as 2004. 14% alc. (92-93/100)
2006 Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reservee Chateauneuf du pape
Darker red color. It is the only wine that shows very ripe, almost prunes like aromas. This can be a bit tiring compared to the other wines. Rich, very ripe fruit, licorice, prunes and spicy aromas on the nose. Full bodied, it seems more concentrated and very spicy on the palate compared to ’04 and ’05, assertive and bigger tannins in the mouth, and a medium plus long spicy finish. A bigger wine, even though the alcohol stays at the same 14%. (91-92/100)
2007 Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Reservee Chateauneuf du pape
Dark red-ruby color. Well developed and expressive nose, it exhibits a beautiful definition of red fruit. Spices, chocolate, herbs and licorice gradually build on the nose . Full bodied, assertive, ripe and sweet tannins, balanced, combining freshness and concentration, this wine shows vibrant fruit, savoury spices and a lush palate. Long, racy and spicy finish. Up to an extent, this is 2004 packed with more fruit and more muscle. Still a baby but it will develop very well in time. 14% alc. (94-95/100)
It was certainly a compelling tasting experience from a producer that continues to make stunning, classical Chateauneuf du pape wines. Bring me more please.