TN: 2003 Pegau Réservée

2003 Dom. du Pegau Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Réservée

Purchased at, and remotely stored since, release. Had with Sunday dinner @ home.

Glistening garnet, touch of bricking near the rim. Nice bouquet of Southern France agricultural earth, floral, fresh meat.
A big-bodied, all sweetness, gulps of ripe red fruit, layered materials, some bell pepper, some grilled meat. Lingering alcohol that just lingered throughout. Better with food. A definitive Pegau in style, with the tell tale characters of the hot vintage. Lengthy finish. B/B-


Years back, I loved the '98s, '00s, and '01s, so I bought a bunch of the 2003’s. Several friends as well as critics loved it, but man I hated this wine. So overripe and roasted to my palate, I sold or gave away every bottle. I made the same mistake in 2007, and since then rarely buy CdP. Tastes change, but maybe these pushed me over the edge. To my palate, Charvin seems to be able make an enjoyable CdP in a hot vintage, but I haven’t found many others.

Thanks for the insight, Warren. The very ripe and lingering alcohol notes can be challenging to take for some.

I’m probably just slightly more tolerant with my remaining 2 or 3 and am now indifferent on either uncorking them, if I can, with company that I know will enjoy the wine, or simply just unload as I can always use precious local storage space for many other wines that I would like more and rate higher.

Based on my last experience with it, the 2001 Pegau turned into an amazing wine. Truly Burgundian (to use that overused metaphor). I wish I had some more, maybe in magnum it would be particularly beautiful now.

Warren, I didn’t love their 2003, but Vieux Telegraphe is the only CdP that I have in the cellar any more. It really does age well and seems to have more complexity and balance to me because of the higher percentage of grapes other than Grenache. Of course it’s gotten a lot more expensive recently, so I don’t buy it that often unless I find a deal.

The 03 has gone in and out for me. It seemed great on release. After a few years, it seemed to lose depth and became just its sweetness, as if that were etched on glass, and I would have agreed with Warren. Then sometime after it was 10 years old, it seemed to come back. It’s still an 03 and will never be everybody’s cup of tea. And I don’t know if it will be the longest lived wine. Most 03s I taste are still very much alive (which is more than I would have originally thought) but do not seem to promise long futures. And there are any number of vintages I like better. But I it’s still an interesting wine to me.

Was the 03 Capo as good as it was regarded on release? I have not heard much about it, nor seen/tried one

I’m a Charvin-head with stored bottles from vintages 1998 to 2004. The 1999, 2000 and 2001 are crazy good. I’ll admit at unloading all my stored 2007 Charvin CdP late last year after tasting a bottle earlier and while it was worthwhile for me to do so. Don’t know enough of the recent vintages to dip my toes in.

I just had one of the 2001, I believe out of the private cellar of Paul Marcus in Oakland. Agree, beautiful wine, so lively, like getting a Master’s degree in Chateauneuf. Turned very nuanced and “Burgundian”.

The 2003 was a different story, pretty hot right out of the gate. Parker went off the deep end of these (>100 points for the Cuvee da Capo as I recall), but I don’t know of any of these that held up (these meaning CdP).

Yes, the 2003 was always an outlier vintage. It was fun young as a change of pace and it was never a “hot mess” like some other CNDP but other vintages have aged much better

I think Pegau is one of the very few 2003 Southern Rhône’s to have worked in the vintage.