2018 Domaine du Pegau Chateauneuf-du-Pape Cuvee Reservee

Year: 2018
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 92-95
Jeb Dunnuck: 91-94
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :

80% Grenache, 6% Syrah, 4% Mourvèdre, 10% other authorized varietals (Counoise, Cinsault, Vaccarèse, more).

"The 2018 Châteauneuf du Pape Cuvée Réservée is full-bodied but quite approachable and easy to drink, loaded with black cherries and plummy fruit and tinged with licorice. A blend of 80% Grenache, 6% Syrah, 4% Mourvèdre and 10% other permitted varieties, it finishes long and silky.

As we started the tasting with the white wines, Laurence Féraud pointed out that those yields were affected by mildew in 2018—not just the Grenache. Her white wine production in Châteauneuf du Pape was roughly half of normal. She also said that there will be no Cuvée da Capo in either 2017 or 2018. "In 2018, there's weakness in the mid-palate. Bigger berries, thinner skins." In compensation, consumers can look forward to a delicious, early-drinking Cuvée Réservée from 2018, and a dense, long-lived version in 2017. One highlight of this year's visit was a chance to try the 2009 and 1989 Cuvée Réservées, both of which are reassuringly excellent and still drinking well. I'll have reviews of the rest of the Feraud wines—her various Côtes du Rhône offerings—in Part 2 of the Southern Rhône report." (WA)

"Not yet bottled, the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Réservée continues to show beautifully and is a soft, charming example of this cuvée that’s going to drink nicely right out of the gate. Loads of blackcurrants, peppery herbs, bloody meat, and violet notes emerge from the glass and it’s medium to full-bodied, has a seamless, elegant texture, ripe tannins, and a great finish. It reminds me of an improved 2014, and despite its upfront appeal, it’s going to evolve nicely for 15 years or more. This estate has a long track record of off vintages aging and drinking beautifully far longer than anyone would predict, and I’m sure the same will be the case with the 2018." (JD)