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Châteauneuf du Pégau

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Another upmarket candidate for this weekend’s 10% discount on purchases over $100.

Châteauneuf du Pape 2009, Cuvée réservée, Domaine du Pégau ($75.00, 11521354)
Grenache (85%) along with Syrah and Mourvèdre and small amounts of other permitted varieties. Manually harvested. The various grapes with their stems are combined and placed in concrete vats, crushed, macerated and fermented with native yeasts and light additions of tartaric acid and sulphur but without temperature control. Ten days later, the grapes are pressed and transferred to old oak foudres for two years’ maturation. Oddly, the SAQ website specifies 14% ABV for the 750 ml bottle, 14.8% for the magnum.
Leather, spice, char and animale dominate the nose, relegating the dark fruit to the background. In the mouth, the wine is smoother and more integrated than expected. Full bodied with ripe but not heavy fruit, mainly spicy plum, wrapped in dark dusty minerals and structured by a finely etched matrix of stiff tannins and pulsing acidity. Alcohol and astringency linger though the peppery, smoky finish. Big though not overwrought, a wine that grabs you by the nose and throat and doesn’t let go, this 98 Parker pointer was wine of the night for many of the people at the event. I was less enamoured, finding it blunt, exaggerated (the coal ash aspect verged on caricatural), largely devoid of charm and refreshment. Of course, as the years pass, I’m less and less receptive to unsubtle, high-octane reds. And, in its defence, the wine is really young. Were I to buy a bottle, I wouldn’t open it for another ten years, at which point it will probably have a lot more appeal.

Written by carswell

February 23, 2013 at 11:54

Posted in Tasting notes

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