The 2003 Pégaü Réservée is a beautiful rendition of this consistently exciting cuvée, and a great achievement in this torrid vintage. The wine's nose offers up a sumptuous melange of baked black cherry, provencal herbs, fennel seed, and Pégaü's signature animal, leather and woodsmoke. On the palate the wine's sweet attack bears the vintage signature (residual sugar is just over 3g/l in this vintage as I recall), but the fruit flavors are baked rather than stewed, and the wine retains an inner dynamic of freshness despite its warm tones. This is a very rounded, sumptuous and juicy vintage of Pégaü drinking nicely now, and once again proof that the traditionalist producers do better and the warm vintages—just like they do in cold vintages!
Pegau hit grand slams in 2003 and 2004. Rarely does a winery make 2 such extraordinary wines back to back in such different vintages. Having had both in the past few weeks it is easy to see both the vineyard and vintage in both. You just can't ask for more than that. Full dark ruby. Sweet red fruited nose with incredible garrigue. Intoxicating. Full mouthfeel but restrained. There is big flavor penetration yet wonderful balance. Great juice. (98)
Dark garnet, completely opaque, with slight browning at the edges. Powerful complex aroma of blackberries, cassis, leather, tobacco, coffee, with just a hint of prunes and raisins. Amazingly viscous...the "legs" don't start to come down for 15 seconds. Powerful full body to match, coarse texture but perfectly balanced; cassis, blackberries, touch of anise. Mild-moderate tannin but very soft, doesn't interfere. The flavors continue to build and build, becoming more intense. Aftertaste is extremely long, a bit hot, that same hint of raisins. The wine had not deteriorated six hours later, still going strong. Nearly perfect, I think this is fully mature and should not be held longer. Ric
TN: Rhone dinner (The Grill Room at Capella Hotel Georgetown): This is so much better than the previous bottles and I wonder if there is a significant bottle variation. Beautifully perfumed nose displaying kirsch mixed with chambord, black cherries, fruitcake, dark spices, a hint of garrigue and earth. Exceptional concentration, dense and decadent blackberry driven palate impression, nutmeg, good acidity, only a hint of the 03 roasted fruits, nicely integrated tannins and very long finish. This quite expressive bottle shows very nice balance. Still quite youthful and another ten years of cellaring will add more garrigue and tobacco. I wish all the bottles show like this.
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(Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée) Medium dark red violet color with pale meniscus; intense, garrigue, dried berry, charcoal nose; rich, tight, dried berry, charcoal, garrigue, beets palate, needs 3-plus years yet; long finish 96+ points
(Domaine du Pégaü Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée) Medium dark garnet red color with pale meniscus; brett, bacon fat, roses, tart black fruit, roasted meat nose; touch of TCA on palate, charcoal, black fruit, sweet roasted meat, sage and bay leaf palate; medium-plus finish 93+ pts.