Eastside (of Seattle) Tasting Group does Pegau-Palooza

ESTG DOES PEGAU-PALOOZA - Seattle, WA, USA (2/10/2024)

I had the joy to organize and host a tasting focused on a deep vertical of my favorite producer, Domaine du Pégau.

Since "discovering" this wonderful estate 22 years ago, I have fallen in love with these wines. CellarTracker shows that I have purchased 432 bottles and consumed 307 bottles. In fact, for the last 19 years I have opened 15 bottles per year on average.

Pegau makes me very, very happy!

With that in mind, it was very fun to organize a tasting focused on a fairly deep vertical. It was truly educational!

Starting with the whites, one easy and one less easy.

  • 2020 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Cuvée Réservée - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    Fresh, citrus, very clean, white flowers, eventually showing some nutmeg and a more nutty personality. Lovely starter. (60% Clairette, 20% Grenache Blanc, 10% Roussanne, and 10% Bourbolenc)
  • 2017 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Blanc Cuvée A Tempo - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    Mmm, deeper nose, waxy, intriguing. Darker color. Very closed. Deep and intense palate but initially quite linear. Really quite concentrated but does start to open up. Day 2 this has more clove and a smoldering hint of white pepper. Given the very reticent showing on day 1 and the more opulent showing on day 2, this is clearly a wine to either aerate heavily or wait a few years. (Equal amounts of Grenache Blanc, Roussanne, and Clairette)

When we organized the tasting, I was worried that this flight might be a bit old and creaky. That was laughable. While mature and secondary, ALL of these wines were shockingly vibrant and still quite structured.

This was the only flight where we really tried to explore the Cuvée Laurence, although we were a bit hampered with one flawed bottle. The style is clearly a bit different.

  • 1995 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Laurence - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    I was busy cooking so didn't capture a detailed note. I recalled it being deep, leathery and quite secondary. A day later there was still a nice pour in the bottle, and it is drinking shockingly well. Garrigue and spicy red fruit. Lots of pepper and cinnamon on top. Impressive.
  • 1999 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    Unreal, just a perfect example of the 1999. This has what I call "all the Châteauneuf-du-Pape" food groups. Amazing power, balance of fruit, spice, garrigue. Most of the group thought this was the best wine of the night. It was really stunning.
  • 2001 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Laurence - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    This was our only defective bottle of the night. Clearly oxidized whether through heat or cork failure. (NR/flawed)

In this flight we explored all of the core cuvées in one vintage. Stylistically these are shockingly distinct. There was a LOT of conversation. Despite the truly impressive aspects of the Laurence and da Capo, everyone was ultimately more disposed to the raw energy and purity of the Cuvée Réservée. There are literally almost no other wines in the world more impressive and affordable for the sheer purity and intensity and quality. Stated differently, we all enjoyed the Laurence and da Capo, but we all swooned over the Cuvée Réservée. At a 2x1 and 10x1 cost ratio, we all preferred the Cuvée Réservée.

Mmm, this was the first flight getting into younger wines, and they are amazing. Although is 20 years old actually young?

  • 2001 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    Slightly oxidative on the nose, coffee, plum cake. Wow, getting more tannic, more powerful, more austere. On the whole, this bottle was showing rather closed but with incredible structure. On day 2 this is showing more roasted, deep, white pepper, sharp, focused, rather intense.
  • 2003 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    Oh wow, deep, powerful, SWEET, pure, impressively tannic, wow, wow, wow, such an intense palate and deep core of fruit.
  • 2004 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    White pepper, TANNINS, so, so spicy, so structured. This particular bottle is unusually tannic, reserved and powerful. There was a lot of debate about this wine, because many of us have had MANY bottles of the 2004 which is usually quite opulent and approachable. The general structure and reserve of this particular bottle was unusual, as none of us have ever encountered a closed bottle before. All that said, I revisited the last few ounces on day 2, and this remained fresh, powerful and shockingly structured.

And at last our only "young" red flight. The power and intensity of these was disarming.

I did have a flight of 2015, 2016, and 2017 lined up, but the group was offically fried.

  • 2005 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    Mmm, deep, dusky, soy, so pure, meaty, dark, black fruit, leather. Having consumed 22 bottles of this wine, I have been a little disappointed as compared to my early expectations. That said, this bottle was utterly glorious. In fact, with a healthy 4oz pour on day 2 this has only started to unfold and get much more interesting. The structure is more prevalent, the spice more intense, the fruit more red, more spicy and more vibrant. Impressive.
  • 2009 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    As has been the case with many bottles of this, there is definitely some slight re-fermentation happening. The group was particularly displeased with this. That said, I have always found this to blow off. The palate is unreal, white pepper, wonderful elements of grilled plum, so sharp, spicy, intense and tannic. Day 2, all of the CO2 is long gone and what remains is intensely spicy, tannic, loaded with garrigue, plum and pepper. Just insanely pure, primary (at 15 years?!?) and intense.
  • 2010 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape
    Mmm, so SPICY, such white pepper, tannic, powerful and intense. On day 2, this has not budged even the slightest. If anything it is fresher, more tannic, more spicy, and more powerful. To me the 2010 is one of the most promising vintages in the past 20 years, but tasting this across 2 days it is literally 20 years away from being remotely ready. Truly impressive.

We finished with the one Pegau dessert wine.

  • 2022 Château Pégau Vin Blanc Doux - France, Vin de France
    Fresh, very apple cider. Absolutely no botrytis that I can find. 11.7% alcohol on the label. On day 2, this is even more concentrated. Literally apple cider. Impressive acidity. Puckering. All that said, everyone was a bit skeptical about this wine. It is nice, but we were all confused about why to make a dessert wine.

Thanks all for bringing wonderful wines!

I have had a LOT of Pegau, but this was still deeply educational. I really had no appreciation for just how young and structured these wines are. It was actually quite shocking to experience these across 30 years. I have had many, many bottles in their first decade, but tasting these in a vertical it honestly feels like 20-25 years is a better entry point. These are stunningly ageable.

Posted from CellarTracker


Fantastic tasting Eric. That 1990 is still my favorite mature Pegau. Hope I get to have it again sometime.

The 2001 is a modern classic, which I hope shows like the 1990 in another several years.


An epic tasting with great notes. While I don’t generally think in terms of what my favorite wine is, if pressed on that question Pegau would immediately come to mind. It’s great to hear how they age but that’s not something I get to experience because I’ve typically bought them in small-ish quantities (3-6 bottles per vintage) and they’re gone before 15 years.


Hmmmm…my invite must have gotten lost on the WA/ID border.

Awesome tasting Eric, had the 2003 not long ago too, and while I am not a fan of most 2003’s Pegau is a top wi e regardless of vintage. Wish I had more of it now.

Would love to try the 1990, never had it, but have had almost every other wine at some point outisde of Capo.

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That tasting sounds awesome! I have a love/not love relationship with Pegau - the wines that I’ve had that did not have brett blooms were beyond lovely; others that brett had taken over were clearly off.

The two whites are interesting - the blend is so different on them. Any info on that? The newer one seems to be more for immediate consumption.


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This is very comprehensive and interesting. My only quibble: I don’t want to wait another 20 years to keep working on my 2010s!
In all seriousness, I had my most recent 2010 just about a year ago and although it was very enjoyable it did feel like it was only starting to warm up the engine, so to speak.

I saw the note on the 2010 in Cellartracker, but decided to respond here instead. I would deem the 2010 to be “impressive” only if sheer longevity were the main factor. Based on your note, it seems that the Pegau may be plagued with the same issue I have found with almost every high-scoring 2010 CNdP I’ve had, which is that it’s so tannic that it’s a bear to drink. I like to drink Chateauneufs because they are fun, but I have yet to have one 2010 I thought was fun to drink. I’ve avoided my bottles of 2010 Pegau for fear they would be unpleasantly tannic, and it’s a shame it appears I will need to wait another 10 years to broach a bottle, especially when the 2009 is drinking so well now.

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Hilarious that we posted at the exact same time and that our takes are two sides of the same coin. Definitely see where you’re coming from on the '10.

Hmmm, I have consumed 19 bottles of the 2010 and find it to be delicious every time. Now in the context of this tasting it was structured, but for me it’s highly pleasurable.

Wow Eric, what a truly awesome tasting, and the notes across-the-board are outstanding. I discovered this estate about the same time you did, and like you, drink a lot of it every year. I bet I average about eight bottles per year. Like you, I’m so smitten by the Reserve that I see no reason to pay more for the Cuvee Lawrence or the Capo. These wines can age beautifully. Like @David_Bu3ker , I think the 2001 vintage is a benchmark for this estate. I love the 2000, but the 2001 has so much more complexity. I seem to recall from the Parker boards that you used to rave about the 2000, which does have lovely aromatics. I wish I had bought multiple cases of the 2016.

Great read and of course tasting. I love Pegau for 25 years, so much character going on - Reservee a bust buy every vintage, even 2008, 2011, 2013 are fine drinks.

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Beats being lost at the Bellevue Issaquah border? :rofl:

Looks like a great tasting! Appreciate the notes Eric! Quick check in on 2003. Despite being one of the few drinkable 2003’s last check was still too cloying/roasted for my taste and was undecided on whether more time would solve that- in your more extensive experience when do you see a good time to check in? (get your crystal ball out)

It is always going to be more rich than other vintages. I agree it is the best of the 2003’s (of which I also agree many are really weird), but if you don’t like the 2003 as it stands now you also won’t like it in another 10 years.

I had this on my birthday last month, courtesy of @Bill_Mauger. It showed very similar and was a pleasure to drink.

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Thank you Eric for a wonderful tasting and notes. My notes are nowhere near as good as yours, as always.

I think my biggest surprise was the 2003. I expected to be a bit of a mess but it is a very fine wine and so enjoyable and fresh right now. Shocking compared to every other 2003 CdP I’ve had.

That 1990 was in such a good spot and I think it will last another 10 years at this level no problem.

As much of a benchmark as 2001 has been and continues to be for Pegau (and Southern Rhone in general), I consistently enjoy the 1999 Pegau as among the top CdPs regardless of year or producer. It seems like it never shut down and will age gracefully for decades.


Yours sounds personal…mine was obviously a mistake or oversight. :joy:

Any love for the 2007? (Bought it when I was just starting to collect again and it’s the only Pegau I own.)

Thanks for the great notes, Eric!

For me it is enjoyable but perhaps the ripest Pegau I have ever tasted. We happened to have it (blind) in another tasting last November, so I chose not to include it in this tasting.

  • 2007 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (11/11/2023)
    ESTG Châteauneuf-du-Pape: Mmmm, more spice market, old school, powerful, plush. Very rich. These 2007's are just massive monsters.
  • 2007 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (4/28/2022)
    I haven't had a 2007 in quite a while, and after a recent, somewhat disappointing 2019 Pegau, I wanted a sure thing. This fit the fill. Still insanely young and ripe with remarkable structure, this us such a generous and glorious vintage. I found this overwhelming and nearly unformed in its youth, but it has aged impeccably. This has it all. White pepper, raspberry, leather and smoked meat. Spicy, incredibly spicy, generous, ripe and yet with incredible focus and drive. This is as ripe an unthrottled a vintages as I have ever tasted, but it works. Balanced, unapologetic and powerful. (96 points)
  • 2007 Domaine du Pégau Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (3/19/2010)
    Rather delicious but quite unformed. A structured wall of strawberry preserve, licorice and tapenade. Quite spicy. Impressive yet not entirely pleasurable at this stage. (93 points)
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Thanks, Eric.

Sounds like I should hold, but have something to look forward to!