On Friday May 11, we had an early appointment with none other than Laurence Feraud at Domaine du Pegau. After initial confusion about where to meet her (we ended up standing in her kitchen and living room after her mother asked us to meet her there), we met up with Laurence at the cave. Turns out it was her birthday, so it’s remarkable she agreed to see us that day.
Pegau’s facilities remind me a lot of many of the German vintners I have visited. Their facilities are underground (right underneath their office in the hillside) and no frills can be found. Laurence allowed us to taste the 2006 Pegau white, (which I had never tried before), the 2004 Cuvee Reservee from bottle, the 2005 from tank and the Grenache and Syrah components of the 2006 from barrel.
In tasting the white, my thoughts were that I really liked it, especially because the wine, made in Inox tank, was devoid of oak, which I always enjoy. It was round, plump, and refreshing, so with just over 200 cases, this is a nice wine that we probably don’t see too much of here in the US.
The 2005 from barrel was my personal highlight. Although it is clearly still an infant, it already has the tell-tale Pegau nose and is impressively approachable. I didn’t get the sense that this is a vin de garde moreso than other vintages, but the quality is definitely high.
With our last draws from the winethief, I was highly impressed with the components of the 2006 Grenache and Syrah. The grenache seems ripe to me, but not over the top, and the Syrah is really beautiful. Dark, deep, aromatic, and smoother than velvet and silk. Clearly the 2006 will be yet another outstandind vintage for Pegau.
When I asked Laurence about her vintage preferences, she confided that 2005 was not her favorite vintage because it was too easy to make good wine. She said vintages like 2003 are more along the lines of special vintages because it was harder to excel and the endresult is more “special”. She actually prefers the 2004 for its classic style and spiciness.
Lastly, let’s talk about pricing…the 2004 Cuvee Reservee is 29 Euro at the domaine. Obviously, some folks in the distribution chain must be making a killing as the 2004 now sells for $60 + in the US. I will report similar pricing stories from my upcoming visits with Clos des Papes and Vieux Telegraphe.
Many thanks to Laurence for taking an hour on her birthday to show us around.