2003 Domaine du Pegau, Chateauneuf du Pape, Cuvee Reservee

There was another TN here, but this wine needs its own thread. After a frenzied hunt up here this week to procure a few bottles, Vinaigre decided we needed to taste the spoils. Decanted and served. WOW! Huge nose of strawberry, raspberry and earth. Full bodied, tannic with lovely clean flavours of raspberry and spice and a finish that lingers for minutes. Awesome wine that will only improve. 95+ for now and I'm glad I have some of this. Killer QPR. Smile
Original Post
Steve, thanks for the notes on the wine tasting luncheon. I didn't post my notes(besides not taking any) because they match yours exactly and our points were almost identical except that I rated the brunello 92+ and the Barolo as 90 points.
My official review said best from 2008 through 2030, and I'll stick with that. The idea being that if you like them older, this one can go the distance.

The drink windows we enter for our reviews have standard 'before' and 'after' year ranges, so they can't be perfect for those wines that have a tight period in the middle years. "Drink now through 2008, then hold for five years, then even better from 2012 through 2030"...I don't think that would work...we leave that kind of stuff for the tasting reports, vintage analysis articles and retrospective tastings to explain.
My review on the '04 Clos des Papes has run already - 96 points with a drink window of now through 2030 (though the wine has tightened up already).

My review on Pegau recently ran in this Tasting Highlights. It's another monster wine, with a long life ahead of it.

Assuming your son grows up to like CdP, either would be a fine choice to go the distance (assuming proper storage of course).
Originally posted by James Molesworth:
Though I do find the '03 Pégaü still a pretty amazing drink, it is starting to shut down, along with most of the top '03s. This is a great sign for the long haul, since their fruit was so exuberant right out of the gate.

James, any thoughts on the alcohol level of the '03 and how it might affect the ageability? Not that I really noticed any heat and it wasn't out of balance. At 15.2% it is significantly higher than the other vintages I have in my cellar.
Originally posted by mimik:

I will tell you what I had to go through to get the bottles.

Does it involve two dwarves, a bullwhip, a bodice, a smoking gun, a new moon, and a clock striking twelve?

Because if it doesn't, you may have to embellish it a bit.
Had this last night, amongst the 2002 Bodegas Lan, 2002 Merryvale Profile, 2003 Clio, acouple of other Syrahs and then a 1/2 bottle of Le Corton thrown in at then end.

If this is truly "closing down" then I cannot imagine what it is going to be like when it opens back up. This was the clear WOTN. It was decanted about 1 1/2 hours and just singing. I think that, for the first time, on top of an 'earthy' smell, I smelled a bit of tobacco. The nose was very full of red fruits, strawberry and raspberry, with that underlying earth smell that is just so attractive in CdPs, but not always in others (for me). The attack was fresh, forward and silky, and the transition from mid-palate (all silky fruit and mouthfeel), was seemless. The finish did go on for almost a minute.

I have 5 more of these and was hoping that this would be this good, and it was. This is easily a 95-96 point wine. Now I just don't know how I will hold off on the rest.

oh, and last, as to the comments about high alcohol, it was not apparent in any way on the nose, taste or finish; this wine is complex and well balance and integrated (can you tell that I liked it).

thanks, Dale
Dear All,

I am a newbie at this forum but have enjoyed reading CDP Pegau posts in the wine conversations. I would like to ask whether the bottle label for the Domaine du Pegau 2003 cuvee reservee is suppose to be printed with a 15.5% alcohol content (which I understand is the case for the '03) or a lower number of 14.5%. In a couple of forums (eg cellar tracker) I have read people posting that their bottle of the '03 Pegau had labels reading 14.5% to 13.5% alc by vol.

Thanks and rgds

Welcome to the forums Engsh. My bottles have the 14% on the front label blacked out and a small white label with 15.2% was stuck on the back of the bottle. Not sure if the winery or our government run liquor monopoly did that. Could be the latter because they do test wines they receive before they release to stores. I certainly wouldn't be surprised that 2003 produced a higher octane version of the Pegau, but I didn't get any heat from it and the wine is soooooo good. Cool
  • 2003 Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (4/20/2009)
    Solid. Decanted for 2 hours. Dark rather reticent nose that displayed notes of plums/prunes/raisins, some blackberry, dark cherries, cedar, licorice and plums. Really dense and rich and slightly hot with a strong port-like scent. The palate is very structured, dense with tightly wound-up tannins on a grainy but long long dense raisiny finish. Great structure and lots and lots of potential for the future. Really nice wine. (94 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker
Mimik- thanks for the update notes. I actually pulled a bottle last night and was really looking forward to seeing how this had progressed after 2 years, as this was an amazing bottle of wine the last time that I had it. I still remember strawberries in a glass and everyone just saying "wow".

This was not that bottle of wine. If you poured it for me blind, I would have said a cheap port. In fact, my tasting note, other than the first word and last 2 sentences, would have been remarkably similar, but for me, this was not fresh and bright and ... anymore. I would score this 87-ish points. I hope that this is either a bad/off bottle or just what a closed CdP tastes like, as I have 4 more and really hope that this isn't the future for this wine or I may sell my first bottles of wine ever!

I have 1/2 bottle left over to try again tonight, and am hoping that this opens up/changes back into what I remember and love(d).



I'm betting it's closed. I would hope that it tastes a little better after an overnight in bottle, but I have had this same experience with other top-of-line CdP's--when they are in their "shut-down" phase, they tend to seem overly pruney, stewed, and out of balance. But after a few more years they re-integrate and become the elegant beauties they were supposed to be. At least I hope this is the case with '03 Pegau, as I still have a 6-pack myself. I will hold mine for another 4 years or so. Thanks for the note.
Redhawk and Boad-O - I think that you are probably correct. I was hoping that with certain other notes seeming to state that this wasn't shutting down that I could really enjoy this bottle, but 2 years later this is a completely different wine. I have 4 left and will definitely not try another for several years.

But, I just opened the remainder of the bottle and I am encouraged. Strawberries are back in action. It is not the bright, fresh strawberries from 2007 but fruit is back, along with some interesting spice and the overly "port-y-ness" of last night is pretty much gone. It is still cold out of the fridge and so will let it warm up and will report back later.

thanks again,

I think that's a pretty safe bet. My guess is that wine needs a bare minimum of 5 more years, maybe 10. [/QUOTE]

IMHO, CdPs in very good years take about 12 years to peak (for me, that means primary & secondary fruit on parity; soft(er) tannins), and can hold for another decade, plus or minus.

There are exceptions; last month, I caught the '89 Beaucastel & it still needs 5-7 more years (big nose, grippy tannins; still); the '88, in comparison, has faded rather a lot.

Have tried other '90 CdPs over the last few birthdays (Roger Perrin, Château de la Gardine "Cuvée des Générations," Chapoutier) and they are just beautiful right now. The Perrin, in particular, resembled an elderly Nuits-St-Georges, and was just lovely.

I have had some mixed reactions to the 2003s. They are an atypical bunch, coming from a hot vintage with relatively low acidity and hence, an unclear aging track record. I would agree also with Redhawk as I experience the portyness with some CDPs from a very classic vintage such as 2004 when they are in a dumb or closed phase!!

And yes, Board-O is correct to say that this is still young and primary and more time to integrate. I am hoping that you see improvements, Dale, to your 03 Pegau tonight. There should be a difference. Let us know.
Okay, so I am back on (or very near) the 03 bandwagon. Most, if not all, of the port-y-ness of the wine that so distracted me the first night was gone and.... the strawberries were back!! Slightly more dried/ripe than 2 years ago, but back nonetheless, along with a funky spice smell that was very intriguing. The heat from night 1 was pretty much gone, and the overwhelming pruney-ness of the wine had integrated nicely. This went from, in my scoring book, 87 to 92+ in one night. I will definitely bury the rest and wait until someone else checks in, but at least I have hope for the future.


Opened this last night with Pinchos Morunos and rosemary parmsean croquettes. Poured into decanter, very little sediment. Tasted right away and it was a bit reserved and tannic. First glass 3 hours later. Wow, what a great wine. Nose of garrique, pepper, and black fruit. Really opened up in decanter. Full bodied and concentrated without being jammy, Balanced. Blood Orange and Iron. Still firm tannins so you will be rewarded with a few more years of cellaring but this is ready right now with a long decant. At the 5+ hour point this was amazing. Long life ahead of it. 96 pts.
Opened and decanted for 2 hours before first taste.

Was hit with a bouquet of dried raspberries, garrigue, blood, and red vine licorice. A subtle spicyness that reminded me of hot Christmas drinks. The acids were present but not too taut. Tannins were velvety and were not overbearing. I just felt like.. there was more. I don't think this is really opened up yet and could probably use a few more years. It seemed to have a ton of potential but left me a bit wanting.


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