Domaine du Pegau, Cuvee Reservee, AOC Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Vaucluse, PACA, France, 2004
This wine: lot No. L07012 (between neck label and capsule), a grenache dominated blend with ~20% syrah, and 5% each of mourvedre, counoise and others, coated natural cork closure, 14% abv, Vintage Wine and Port, £40.45 special offer (12/16)
Last tasted 21/12/16
Consumer tasting note: fully mature Chateauneuf-du-Pape from one of the top producers; silky smooth tannins with supporting acidity to counter the high(ish) alcohol. Lots going on, with a lovely balance of ripe dark berries, a touch of dark cherry, red berry and cherry jam, along with toasty and spicy nuances from time in oak, and warm black liquorice, cedar, cut red pepper, a little earthiness, and sweet tobacco. Finishes long.
Drink now – RTD, but will keep – Wait. Double decant off the sediment, start tasting immediately.
WSET style tasting note
Appearance: clear and bright, deep intensity garnet, showing tears [1/8 teaspoon of soft sediment].
Nose: clean, medium (+) intensity, fully developed, with aromas as they come, of very low-key funk, a hint of struck match, cedar, hint of menthol, slightly high-toned black currant boiled sweets, hint of toast, earthy, wet leaves, cumin, hint of dried vanilla pod, hint of indistinct spicy red berry jam, beeswax, serious red cherry jam, black cherry, cut red pepper, old leather, warm black liquorice, hint of sweet tobacco.
Palate: dry, medium (+) acidity, ripe smooth bare medium tannins, high alcohol, medium (+) body, medium (+) intensity, a smooth texture, with flavours of black currant boiled sweets, ripe black cherry, raisin, dried currants, black liquorice, touch of cedar, blackcurrant jam. A long length with a clean finish of black currant jam edged with black liquorice and a little cedar.
Quality: outstanding, perfectly balanced fresh(ish) acidity and smooth ripe fairly low-key tannins with well-integrated high(ish) alcohol; a lovely balance of ripe berries with secondary nuances and tertiary character; quite strong intensity throughout with similar concentration, of high complexity, with evidence of perfectly integrated exposure to wood (cumin, spice, toast, vanilla pod), and lengthy time in bottle (beeswax, cedar, dried currants, earthy, old leather, raisin, tobacco, wet leaves). Finishes soundly long.
Drinking readiness/ageing potential: drink now, unsuited to further ageing, but will keep for 2-5 years – a sound structure and perfect balance, showing a fully developed profile, of a predominantly tertiary character.