A majestic wine, intense and powerful but so smooth and velvety, ripe autumn berry fruit notes with touches of sandalwood, five spice, cinnamon and pepper. So open-knit and alluring with great depth of flavour. 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 Reservee, approximately 80% Grenache with the rest made up of Syrah, Mourvedre, Counoise and a smattering of the other permitted varieties. Approximately 500 cases were made.
Pégau is old Provençal 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 Pégau. Laurence presides over 18 hectares of red Châteauneuf 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. 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 Mourvèdre, though importantly the lesser-known cépages make up the blend – their vineyard in La Crau, for example, contains all 13 of the permitted varieties. Pégau does not make scientific, modern wines; these are Châteauneufs of great mystery and complexity that represent a passion and respect for t the vineyards and tradition.