2003 Pegau Chateauneuf du Pape Reservee

2003 Pegau Chateauneuf du Pape Reservee

Year: 2003
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 97
Wine Advocate: 95 - 98
International Wine Cellar: 92 - 94
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Wine Spectator, June 2006
Laurence Féraud established the domaine in 1987 with her father, Paul; today they run it with her partner, Mark Fincham. The 2003 Cuvée Réservée mixes 80 percent Grenache with Syrah, Mourvèdre and other varieties. Despite the wildly hot 2003 vintage, the family harvested late, and rain in mid-September allowed their grapes to reach full ripeness while maintaining acidity.

Offers aromas of freshly crushed plum and blackberry with a Port-like headiness, then pumps out dark berry fruit, bramble, licorice, tar and pain d'épices flavors before a flitter of game and garrigue on the finish. Dense and muscular, but also luxurious. Best from 2008 through 2030. 5,830 cases made. 97 points and Highly Recommended Designation.

Robert Parker Issue #163, Feb 2006
The magical 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee brings to mind a richer, more alcoholic version of their 1990. The 2003's dense plum/purple color is followed by flamboyant aromas and flavors of roasted meats, spicy herbs, pepper, blackberries, and cedar-tinged kirsch-like fruit. Unctuously-textured, with low acidity, high glycerin as well as alcohol (16+% ), and a monster finish, it displays enormous concentration, silky tannin, and no hard edges. This remarkable, traditionally-styled Chateauneuf du Pape will be drinkable young, yet should age effortlessly for two decades or more. 95-98 points

Robert Parker Issue #156, Feb 2004
The deep, saturated ruby-colored 2003 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee reveals glorious, generous aromatics of kirsch liqueur, smoke, dried herbs, roasted meats, licorice, and incredible levels of fruit and extract. These wines are very full-bodied and super-concentrated, with high levels of glycerin, alcohol, and tannin. Virtually every cuvee from Pegau achieved 16% natural alcohol. I expect an amazing version of the Cuvee Reservee that will be even fleshier, fuller, and more exotic and flamboyant than such great vintages as 2001, 2000, and 1998. Perhaps the closest vintage for comparison will be 1990, but time will tell. The 2003 will have 15-20 years of aging potential after its release in 2005.

P.S. While it had not been separated since everything was still in cement vats, there will definitely be a Cuvee Laurence produced from some of the Cuvee Reservee. They are essentially the same wine, but the Cuvee Laurence spends a longer time in wood. I am not sure I understand the need for this offering now that the estate has introduced the Cuvee da Capo in the finest vintages. But, having just drunk a glorious bottle of the 1998 Cuvee Laurence, I would not be prepared to eliminate it from their portfolio.

International Wine Cellar: Dark violet color. Rich, spicy and sweet on the nose, with cherry and blackberry fruit aromas complicated by exotic Asian spices, fresh meat and espresso. This is wonderfully thick, even viscous, but the overall impression is fresh, not tiring, with deep flavors of berries, cherry, dark plum, licorice, garrigue and coffee candy. Expands and puts on weight with aeration, finishing with fully buffered, round tannins. This packs 15.5% alcohol but betrays no heat. Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar, Jan/Feb 06


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