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Domaine du Pegau Cuvee Laurence, Chateauneuf du Pape 2012
80% Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Counoise
Chateauneuf du Pape
Smoother and more alluring than the equivalent 2012 Cuvee reserve, thanks to the extended ageing in cask, but also a noticeably more profound wine. Oozing sweet, dark, full velvety fruit. Brambles, plums and bullace mixed with sap, leather and black pepper spice. Clearly a rich vintage with a dark colour and deep but seductive flavours. Cuvee Laurence is the result of one cask of Cuvee Reserve being singled out by Laurence Feraud for extended ageing, which amounts to an extra two years in large oak foudres. This is only done in certain vintages. The blend is therefore the same as that of Cuvee Reserve, approximately 80% Grenache with the rest made up of Syrah, Mourvedre, Counoise and a smattering of the other permitted varieties. Approximately 600 cases were made.
Winemaking has not changed enormously since the 17th century; the grapes are lightly pressed and whole-bunch-fermented today as they were then. After fermentation the wines are aged in large old barrels for a minimum of 18 months, and bottled without filtration.
The wines are based on Grenache Syrah and Mourvedre, though importantly the lesser-known grapes make up the blend – their vineyard in La Crau, for example, contains all 13 of the permitted varieties. Pegau does not make scientific, modern wines; these are Chateauneufs of great mystery and complexity that represent a passion and respect for the vineyards and tradition.
Pegau is old Provencal for a type of wine jug that was excavated from the 14th-century Pope’s Palace in Avignon and today signifies one of the world’s great wines. The domaine’s origins date back to the 17th century, but it was reborn in 1987, when Laurence Feraud joined the domaine of her father, Paul, renaming it Domaine du Pegau. Laurence presides over 18 hectares of red Chateauneuf in total that comprises several plots of vines up to 80 years old spread across some of the region’s greatest terroirs, including La Crau, Montpertuis, Les Bosquets and Pignan.
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