96 Wine Advocate
Now that it has been in bottle a while, the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee is looking even better than I projected based on last year’s prebottling sample. It’s all violets, cherries, subtle allspice and clove and traditional garrigue notes of lavender and thyme. Full-bodied and rich, it’s crazy complex, adding hints of tar and black olives on the long, silky finish. It should evolve beautifully over the next two decades.
Wine Advocate report on Pegau (2018) –
At Pegau, Laurence Féraud greeted me with her seemingly permanent level-headed good nature. Every time I see her, she tells me how overwhelmed she is with work, and I marvel at her composure. These hot, early vintages must be tough on the estate in some ways, as the property doesn’t have proper temperature controls for the reds. Still, they’re extremely successful, so maybe technology is seriously overrated? After all, the 2016 Cuvée da Capo was vinified outdoors because the cellar was full. Féraud continues to believe in using whole clusters and longer-than-average élevage for her wines, and as she keeps the Cuvée Réservée in foudre for two summers, it’s fascinating to see how the wines evolve, seeming to gain weight while at the same time smoothing out during their maturation. Féraud said she feels the 2015, 2016 and 2017 are all very different, but, she says, “I like the vintage differences. You work all year, you don’t want the wines to all taste the same.” For the first time, there are back-to-back vintages of the Cuvée da Capo (2015 and 2016), which means there will be a Cuvée Laurence in 2017. Recent releases of the Laurence, which spends four years in foudre, include the 2012 and 2013, both reviewed in this issue. Don’t overlook the white wines, or the Côtes du Rhône bottlings under the Château Pegau label (reviewed separately).