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Domaine du Pegau

pegau-sign.jpgOne of the most famous producers in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, and alongside Henri Bonneau, a bastion of traditionalism in
this evolving region.  Today Domaine du Pegau, established in 1987 when Laurence Feraud joined her father Paul and re-invigorated his Domaine Feraud, covers nearly 20 hectares in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, with another addition in the Lirac appellation earlier this year.  Annual production is around 7,500 cases across three cuvees each year.

Pegau's vines are spread throughout the region, within many sectors, yet vine age for most is quite old, averaging perhaps 60-70 years old, but with several plots (including 2.5 hectares in La Crau from which Cuvee da Capo originates) well over 100 years of age.  The vines are farmed organically, eschewing herbicides and with the addition only of organic fertilisers, yet they do not lay claim to any certification or validation.  Sulphur is sprayed very sparingly, and yields are kept naturally low.laurence-feraud.jpg

At harvest the grapes, including all stems, are crushed and placed into concrete tanks.  Very traditional winemaking.  The cepage is approximately 85% Grenache, 9% Syrah, 4% Mourvedre and 2% made up of all other permitted varieties, as per the planted proportions.  The wines complete fermentation over approximately three weeks, with daily pumpovers.  The must is then pressed and the wine placed in large, old oak foudres.  A selection that ultimately becomes Cuvee Laurence is placed in large Burgundy barriques for much of its four years elevage, exposing it to greater oxygenation, although it's usually returned to foudre at some point.  Cuvee da Capo is handled identically to the Cuvee Reservee, although it's always just a single foudre, selected only in exceptional vintage (made in 1998, 2000, 2003, 2007 and 2010) with higher acidity than the regular cuvee, 3g/l of residual sugar, and at elast 16% natural alcohol.  Cuvee Laurence is made every great vintage where no da Capo is produced (except in 1998 when both were produced), thus has been made in 1983, 1985, 1989, 1990, 1995, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2009.  Minimal sulphur is used at bottling, and the wine is bottled unfined and unfiltered.  These have conspired to occasionally produce some bacterial issues - notably brettanomyces in certain vintages.pegau-foudres.jpg

Pegau's wines are unique, throwbacks to the older generation in terms of Chateauneuf production, but stunning, utterly delicious, and totally deserving of a place in every cellar.

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