In contrast, the 2001 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Laurence remains very youthful and less evolved than the 2004. The color is a healthy plum/garnet with slight lightening at the edge. Expansively flavored with abundant notes of garrigue, sandalwood, black cherries, licorice and herbs, this full-bodied wine possesses sweet tannins as well as emerging complexity. It should drink well for two more decades. It is my second favorite Cuvee Laurence, after the 1998.
Always one of my favorite places to visit, Laurence Feraud and her father, Paul (a speed fanatic who raced in on a motorcycle during my visit), conducted a fascinating tasting in their cellars. As value hunters know, several of the low end offerings here are wonderful expressions of Provence that deserve to be taken seriously. Under the family’s negociant label, Selection Laurence Feraud, there are some noteworthy efforts that are well worth checking out.
As for the Domaine du Pegau estate wines, I had not yet tasted the 2007 Cuvee Reservee or 2007 Cuvee da Capo from bottle, and when I did, they lived up to all my previous accolades. Here are some in-the-bottle reports on recent vintages of Domaine du Pegau’s Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Reservee, Cuvee Laurence and Cuvee da Capo. I have been buying the Cuvee Reservees since 1979 and the greatest examples include the 1981, 1983, 1985, 1989, 1990, 2003 and the 2007. Not that the other offerings are not high quality, but as Shakespeare said, “Comparisons are odious.”