Saturday, August 17, 2019

Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine du Pégau in Châteauneuf du Pape, with Owner/ Winemaker Laurence Féraud and Winemaker Andreas Lenzenwöger - Rhône Valley Tour 2018 by ombiasy WineTours: Wine, Culture and History, France

Pictures: Cellar Tour and Tasting at Domaine du Pégau in Châteauneuf du Pape, with Owner/ Winemaker Laurence Féraud and Winemaker Andreas Lenzenwöger - Rhône Valley Tour 2018 by ombiasy WineTours: Wine, Culture and History, France

Berry Bros & Rudd: The Feraud family of Domaine du Pegau, including daughter Laurence and the father Paul, are fervent proponents of the most traditional wine-making style of Provence and Rhone. It is widely regarded as one of the leading producers in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The property in Châteauneuf is made up of eleven separate vineyard parcels spread throughout the Courthézon, La Solitude and Bédarrides sector of the appellation.

Picture: Domaine du Pégau in Châteauneuf du Pape, with Laurence and Paul Féraud

Owner/ Winemaker Laurence Féraud was our host. We also met cellar master Andreas Lenzenwöger. Laurence took us on a cellar tour, followed by a sit-down tasting of the Pegau wines, including a Domaine du Pégau Cuvée da Capo.

Pictures: Arriving

Domaine du Pégau

SommSelect.com: They may only be in their third decade, but Pégau has already topped restaurant and critics’ lists time after time. Like the illustrious Château Beaucastel, Pégau utilizes all 13 authorized grape varieties in their cuvée and extended aging always occurs in neutral foudres (king-sized oak barrels). The end result is dark, delicious, and remarkably fresh, with profound layers of minerality and spice. No heat, no syrup, just astounding depth, texture, and gorgeous aromatics. Should you be on the lookout for top examples of southern Rhône, Domaine du Pégau is a sure bet, and their “rags to riches” story only adds to the appeal. Once you taste "Cuvée Réservée," you’ll understand why they attract so much fame—their wine is classic, way underpriced, and genuinely ageworthy. We were lucky to get enough to offer six bottles per customer today—bottles any serious collector would be happy to have in his or her cellar.

Pictures: In the Cellar with Winemaker Andreas Lenzenwöger

Daughter-Father team Laurence and Paul Féraud have a grape-growing lineage in southern Rhône that dates to the 1600s and evidence of winemaking from 1733. Still, Domaine du Pégau didn’t formally exist until 1987. At the time, Laurence was living in Paris and returned home to help her father, Paul, farm the family’s 10 acres of vines. The following year, their first vintage was crafted in a roofless winery—it was still under construction. In an interview with the wine blog Vinography, Laurence recalled the bare-bones operation during their inaugural vintage: "We threw the bunches of grapes into the vats and then after 15 or 20 days I got in and took the [grape] must out with a pitchfork. It was my father, me, and one employee."

Pictures: In the Cellar with Laurence Féraud

Money was tight in the beginning years and French wine critic Michel Bettane was their saving grace: He stumbled upon them and penned an article that resulted in much-needed exposure. Soon after, a businessman interested in importing their wines approached them. Upon tasting a few barrel samples, he requested their business, but the Férauds didn’t even have the finances to bottle their wines, so he fronted them cash in order to do so. At the time, Laurence was hand-applying every label—over 800 a day. As years passed, new cuvées were birthed, more vineyards were acquired, and their exports wildly grew. Today, Domaine du Pégau is considered not just one of the great estates of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, but the world.

Pictures: Tasting

Laurence Féraud, along with her father—still working in his late 70s—and a small team, farm 14 family-owned parcels around the region. Their vines, some reaching the century mark in age, are situated in various soils, mostly of clay and sand. Other parcels lie atop the classic heat-absorbing galets (round stones) of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Laurence’s holdings are predominately Grenache, but she utilizes all 13 permitted grape varieties of the appellation, both in the vineyard and her "Cuvée Réservée.” They practice sustainable farming and all grapes are harvested by hand. In the winery, a spontaneous ‘whole-cluster’ fermentation occurs in cement tanks, followed by a twice-daily pump over. After completion, aging takes place in large, neutral foudres—never new oak—for 18-24 months. It is always bottled unfiltered.

Region: Southern Rhône
Sub-Region: Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Variety: Grenache 80%, Syrah 10%, Mourvèdre 6%, All Other Permitted Varieties 4%
Alcohol: 14%
Oak: Large Neutral Foudres
Soil: Clay, Chalk, & Sand Beneath Galets
Farming: Sustainable

The Wines Laurence Poured

We tasted 6 wines, including a Domaine du Pégau Cuvée da Capo.


2015 Château Pegau Cuvée Maclura Côtes du Rhône Rouge

Château Pegau is the name of Laurence and Paul Féraud’s newly-purchased 60 hectare estate, located in Sorgues, less than 6 km from Châteauneuf-du-Pape, including 40 planted hectares of vines in the Cotes du Rhone and Cotes du Rhone Villages appellations.

60% Grenache, 25% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre, 5% Cinsault.


2013 Château Pegau Cuvée Setier Côtes du Rhône Rouge

60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 20% Mourvèdre.


NV Domaine du Pégau Plan Pegau Vin de France Rouge

Hogshead.com: This wine is a blend of 30% Grenache, 30% Syrah, 20% Merlot, and 20% Carignan, Mourvedre, Cinsault, Danlas, Alicante, and Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from vines averaging 40 years of age. The wine was fermented in concrete vats then aged in a mix of concrete tanks and very old French oak casks. Alcohol 13.5%. The flavors show rounded edges with hints of red fruit but overall dry, black fruit comes out by the middle. There is some depth, some minerals, and a dry structure with air. Need a little cellar time.

2013 Domaine du Pégau Cuvée Réservée Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge

Sommselect.com: In the glass, Domaine du Pégau’s 2013 "Cuvée Réservée" displays a concentrated and opaque deep ruby core. The nose offers up rich notes of black cherry, currant, licorice, black raspberry liqueur, damp garrigue, purple and red flowers, wild herbs, finely crushed pepper, olive tapenade, smoked meat, and subtle baking spice. The palate is rich and dense but also lifted and fresh. Richness and freshness may sound like a paradox, but it isn’t: mineral precision enlivens your palate even as the dark fruit coats it. It isn’t overly extracted, but instead a perfect example of how satisfying CdP can be. Though this was a trying vintage for the region, the Férauds nailed it, and you can expect this to perform well over the next 10+ years. If consuming now, do so in large Bordeaux stems after a one-hour decant. Try out the attached Provençal take on venison and make sure to monitor your heat and cooking time—you want the meat to be tender, not tough! Bon appétit.

Berry Bros. & Rudd: The Châteauneuf red (a small quantity of white is also produced) is a blend of 75% Grenache, 20% Syrah, with the remaining 5% being made up of Mourvèdre, Counoise and other varieties. The grapes are hand harvested and are then fermented without being de-stemmed. The cuvaison lasts for 12-15 days and the wine is then aged for around 18 months in old oak foudres. No fining or filtration is carried out. The Cuvée Laurence is the same wine as the Cuvée Réservée but is kept in wooden cask for another 18-24 months before being bottled. These are rich, robust and concentrated wines, which tend to show at their best with 7-8 years of bottle age.


2015 Domaine du Pégau Cuvée da Capo Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge

wine-searcher average price in US$: 367

‘Cuvée da Capo’ made most years and comes from a plot in La Crau. The lieu dit ‘La Crau’ is a very special plot in the Châteauneuf du Pape vineyard sites and the most famous one. It is the area towards Courthézon and particularily rich in the galets roulés, round rocks or pebbles covering the clay soil, and perfect for retaining the heat.

95-97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

Slated to be bottled in January 2018, the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee da Capo is an impressively endowed wine by any measure. Aromas? Floral, fruity and spicy. Flavors? Black cherries and plums with hints of meat and licorice. Weight and texture? Ample and silky. Finish? Never-ending and nuanced. This big but balanced beauty should drink well for at least two decades. (JC) (10/2017)

95-97 points Vinous

Saturated ruby. Highly perfumed aromas of ripe dark berries, incense and garrigue , accented by a sexy Asian spice nuance in the background. Plush, seamless and alluringly sweet, offering intense black raspberry, cherry liqueur and floral pastille flavors that reach every corner of the palate. Smooth, seamless and deeply concentrated but lively as well; velvety tannins add shape to an extremely long, spice- and mineral-accented finish. The interplay of richness and vivacity here is awfully impressive. (JR) (3/2017)


2015 Domaine du Pégau Cuvée Laurence Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge

justerinis.com: An enticing, smokier tone to this than the 2013 Cuvee Reservee. Smouldering dark berry fruits with notes of cigar box. The texture is silky and the fruit lively but generous, flavours of Morello cherry and rock salt, hints of bramble. Sumptuous and free-flowing. Cuvee Laurence is the result of one cask of Cuvee Reserve being singled out by Laurence Feraud for extended ageing, which amounts to an extra two years in large oak foudres. This is only done in certain vintages. The blend is therefore the same as that of Cuvee Reservee, approximately 80% Grenache with the rest made up of Syrah, Mourvedre, Counoise and a smattering of the other permitted varieties. Approximately 600 cases were made.

Bye-bye

Many thanks Laurence for a most interesting cellar tour and tasting.

Pictures: Bye-bye

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Friday, August 16, 2019

Tasting in the Vineyard at Weingut Jamek, Joching, Wachau, Austria, with Herwig Jamek - The 13th Annual Conference of the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) in Vienna, Austria, July 14 – 18, 2019

Pictures: Tasting in the Vineyard at Weingut Jamek, Joching, Wachau, Austria, with Herwig Jamek - The 13th Annual Conference of the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) in Vienna, Austria, July 14 – 18, 2019

The 13th Annual Conference of the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) which took place in Vienna, Austria, July 14 – 18, 2019, included 2 wine tours: Tour Burgenland and Tour Lower Austria (Wachau, Kamptal, Kremstal, Wagram).

Pictures: The 13th Annual Conference of the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) in Vienna, Austria, July 14 – 18, 2019: Annette Schiller, ombiasy WineTours, Professor Astrid Forneck, University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) Vienna, Willi Klinger, Austrian Wine Marketing Board, Christian Schiller - Professor Karl Storchmann, AAWE, Annette Schiller, ombiasy WineTours - Christian Schiller, Herwig Jamek, Weingut Jamek, Wachau, Professor Karl Storchmann, AAWE

During the Tour Lower Austria (Wachau, Kamptal, Kremstal, Wagram) my group (there were 4 groups) visited Weingut Jamek, Joching, Wachau and Weingut Geyerhof, Furth bei Göttweig, Kremstal. Herwig Jamek was our host at Weingut Jamek.

I am preparing 5 postings:

Vienna, Economics and Wine: The 13th Annual Conference of the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) in Vienna, Austria, July 14 – 18, 2019Vienna, Economics and Wine: The 13th Annual Conference of the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) in Vienna, Austria, July 14 – 18, 2019

Vineyard and Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Sommer, Donnerskrichen, Burgenland, Austria, with Leo Sommer - The 13th Annual Conference of the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) in Vienna, Austria, July 14 – 18, 2019

Vineyard and Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Esterházy, Trausdorf and der Wulka, Burgenland, Austria, with Mag. Gerald Rouschal - The 13th Annual Conference of the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) in Vienna, Austria, July 14 – 18, 2019

Tasting in the Vineyard at Weingut Jamek, Joching, Wachau, Austria, with Herwig Jamek - The 13th Annual Conference of the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) in Vienna, Austria, July 14 – 18, 2019

Vineyard and Cellar Tour and Tasting at Weingut Geyerhof, Furth bei Göttweig, Kremstal, Austria, with Josef Maier - The 13th Annual Conference of the American Association of Wine Economists (AAWE) in Vienna, Austria, July 14 – 18, 2019

Tour Lower Austria - Wachau, Kamptal, Kremstal, Wagram

On the last day, we went on a day trip to the Wachau, Kamptal, Kremstal and Wagram, all smaller sub-regions of Niederösterreich/ Lower Austria. We were divided into 4 groups.

We all had lunch togather in Dürnstein.

My group visited Weingut Jamek, Joching, Wachau, before lunch and Weingut Geyerhof, Furth bei Göttweig, Kremstal, after lunch.

Picture: Tour Lower Austria - Wachau, Kamptal, Kremstal, Wagram

Wachau

wine-searcher: Wachau is a small but important wine district on the Danube River in northern Austria. It follows the Danube for roughly 20 miles (33km) until Krems-an-der-Donau, the fifth-largest city in Lower Austria and the commercial hub for Wachau and its neighboring districts Kremstal and Kamptal. One of Austria's most famous and respected wine regions, Wachau is known for its full-bodied, pepper-tinged Grüner Veltliner and rich, steely Riesling.

Most Wachau vineyards are located on steep (often terraced) hillsides above the Danube – a naturally sunny location where warm summer temperatures are stabilized slightly by the river below. The most flavorful Wachau wines come from vineyards perched on sun-drenched, south-facing terraces.

Wachau's steep, sweeping, vineyard-lined riverbanks could easily be mistaken for those of Germany's Mosel, even if the wines could not: classic Wachau Rieslings taste richer, riper and more tropical than their counterparts from the cooler, wetter Mosel. They have much more in common with the richest Rieslings of Alsace and Pfalz.

Wachau Grüner Veltliner is arguably the most iconic of all Austrian wine styles in the modern day. Racy, aromatic and intense, these wines are marked by zesty citrus notes and a chlorophyll-tinged zing of white pepper. Neighboring Kremstal and Kamptal are the only other regions on Earth capable of producing Grüner Veltliner like this.

Wachau lies outside of Austria's DAC classifications: instead, the terms Steinfeder, Federspiel and Smaragd are commonly found on bottles of white Wachau wine. This three-tier wine-style classification was developed by the region's producers as a way of communicating the style of their wines, beyond region and grape variety. Steinfeder wines are the lightest: fresh and tangy, with a maximum of 11.5% ABV. The term means "stone feather", and is the name of a wispy, feather-like grass that grows on Wachau's stony terraces. Federspiel wines are the middleweight category (11.5–12.5% ABV), with the racy, precise, elegance of a hunting falcon; federspiel means "falconry". Smaragd wines are the richest and fullest-bodied, with a minimum of 12% ABV. Smaragd translates literally as "emerald" but refers here to a distinctive, emerald-green lizard which basks on the warmest of Wachau's sun-baked stone terraces.

Tasting in the Vineyard at Weingut Jamek, Joching, Wachau, Austria, with Herwig Jamek

The visit of Weingut Jamek was a very special and impressive one. We met at the estate but then immediately walked to Ried Kaus, where we had a tasting of the Jamek wines in the vineyard Klaus with  breathtaking view of the Danube River Valley.

winesolutions.com: The late Joseph Jamek is known in the Wachau and greater Austria as the pioneering leader of quality wine production and the father of the modern-day style of dry Wachau wines. For those not familiar with Jamek, especially my fellow Americans, you can think of him like Robert Mondavi and what he did for the Napa Valley. Jamek came to be a winemaker later in his life, but it was still early times for modern vini and viticulture in the Wachau. Jamek’s first single vineyard wine was the 1959 Ried Klaus Riesling bottled in 1960. In the Wachau at the time of Jamek’s rise, the Wachau was not known for dry wines and loaded the sweet wines they already made with a sugar additive that boosted the sweetness level even further. Dry wines existed but were mostly for personal consumption according to a few people I spoke to on my visit.

Pictures: Walking to Ried Klaus

Joseph had a keen palate for fine and dry wines and decided that was the style of wine he wanted to pursue, which today is now the dominant style of wine made throughout the Wachau and all of Austria in regards to Gruner Veltliner and Riesling. Today his legacy lives on with his family farming and tending to 27 hectares of vines in the Wachau, one of the largest landholders in the region.

We met the good Dr. Herwig Jamek, grandson-in-law of Joseph, in the reception house that houses the wine tasting room and the restaurant. He asked what I wanted to see, graciously allowing me to select the details of the visit. Vineyards, of course, were first and then I asked to see the remaining parts that bring the wines to life and tell the story of Jamek.

Being a father himself of 4 girls, one which was a similar age to Camille, was a happy coincidence. Herwig already had a car seat in his van that we hopped into to see the vineyards. Camille took to him pretty easily handling and adjusting the car seat for her and off we went. We drove down the Danube a few minutes and then took a small road that wound up the terraces to the crown jewel of Joseph Jamek, Ried Klaus. This was my first encounter with one of the special “Ried” vineyard designations that look like a small religious monument at the foot of specific vineyards. Think of “Ried” as a high-quality designation like Cru, or more specifically Grand Cru.

The gate of Achleiten and looking up through the gate to the Achleiten vineyard, maybe the most famous “Ried” or Cru vineyards in the Wachau.

Pictures: Tasting in the Vineyard with Herwig Jamek

Klaus was my first look at serious Wachau vines, terraces and grape bunches of Riesling and Gruner Veltliner. The upper portion of Ried Klaus is hard rock gneiss for the Riesling and the lower portions are a mix of gneiss with loess and other more alluvial soils keen for Gruner Veltliner. Adjacent to Ried Achleiten, Ried Klaus faces south, south-east looking down river to Kremstal and across to Mautern and then upriver west to Spitz.

We meandered down a few terraces to a set of terrace walls Herwig wanted to show me as they were in the midst of being rebuilt from a landslide. This was very important and extremely informative as it showed how back breaking the work is to maintain and build these walls.

Pictures: Christian Schiller, Annette Schiller, Karl Storchmann and Herwig Jamek

What happened was the wall buckled and gave way from years of pressure and ultimately rainwater in a storm that built up behind the wall. The portion that broke was composed of masonry binding with cement between the rocks that made up the bricks of a thinner wall. This terrace method has been mostly abandoned as the cement allows no flexibility or drainage under stress and the walls tend to break like a levee. Instead, what we now see are walls that are deeper front to back with longer or wider stones. To seal them smaller stones are wedges in like stoppers to effectively lock the rocks in place. This allows for water drainage so the pressure on the wall is much less. Maintenance is required for some upkeep but the work an effort over time is less.

Back at the Weingut, we toured the winemaking facilities and cellars, adorned with ornate carvings on the large wood tanks that adorn many Wachau Weingut. We saw the family home and the original restaurant that started it all decades ago as one of the early marriages of wine and food that are so common here.

Amongst the family was a heart-warming gesture, they were providing a home for a Syrian refugees family displaced by the terrible war ravaging that country. I was already a fan but this just made me like Jamek so much more.

We finished the visit with a wonderful lunch in the main restaurant which is also the family home on the upper floors. It is here we tasted the wonderful portfolio of wines, tasting the best Federspiel Gruner Veltliner of the trip and one of the best Weissburgunder that had a little age and showed the stuffing to be a long-term ager. Herwig showed us the original Riedel wine glasses that Joseph had commissioned specifically for his wines which really now the gold standard of style in the Wachau. True and original wine antiques they were delicate with a long and medium-sized flit bowl, which a short stem.

I was so excited and enamored with the visit and a little late to get Camille back for her nap I forgot to buy some wines which was a huge mistake as they are not easy to find here back in the US.

Should you be in the Wachau I can’t recommend a visit to Jamek more. You can even stay at the property in a few of the apartments that are fairly priced and nicely appointed.

A bientot!

-Tom

The Wines we Tasted

We tasted 9 wines.


Weingut Jamek, Vierblatt, Gelber Muskateller Federspiel 2018
Weingut Jamek, Ried Achleiten, Grüner Veltliner Federspiel 2018
Weingut Jamek, Ried Achleiten, Grüner Veltliner Smaragd 2018
Weingut Jamek, Ried Achleiten, Grüner Veltliner Smaragd 2017


Weingut Jamek, Ried Hochrain, Weissburgunder 2017


Weingut Jamek, Ried Pichl, Riesling Federspiel 2018
Weingut Jamek, Ried Klaus, Riesling Federspiel 2018
Weingut Jamek, Ried Klaus, Riesling Smaragd 2017


Weingut Jamek, Ried Klaus, Riesling Beerenauslese 2017


Bye-bye

Thanks Herwig Jamek for an extraordinary tasting.

Picture: Bye-bye

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