|This old Family estate is now being run by the 4th generation, Mathieu and his sister Géraldine Boutiere. The domain started producing wine in 1950 but produced olive oil as well. The vineyard was extended after the big frost of 1956, which devastated all of the olive trees. By 1971 (the year when Gigondas obtained its own AOC) the estate was producing only wine. From their winery and home in Gigondas, Mathieu and his father Guy work their 24 ha of vines, producing exclusively red wines: 17ha in Gigondas, 1ha in Vacqueyras, 2ha in Côtes-du-Rhône and 4ha in Vin de Pays. They work the vineyards with the highest level of respect for the soil and the terroir to obtain the best quality wine, working in “culture raisonnée” but nearly organic in their attention to detail. They have not used any herbicides or pesticides since 1997.
The style of Domaine du Pesquier is the paradigm of traditional Rhone wine. The spotless winery doesn’t contain a single new barrel but rather old wooden casks, “foudres,” and cement tanks. Though used at this winery for years, cement has been rediscovered by the world’s best wineries (ie Cheval Blanc) as a perfect material for developing wines because of its very steady temperature. Though traditional in approach, it does not mean that there hasn’t been change and progress at Pesquier. For instance, now the wines undergo a 3 day, pre-fermentation cold soak and they have been destemming since 2001; in 2003 they started using the very effective technique of delestage. In 2005 the entire winery was temperature controlled. However beyond technique, at the end of the day, are the wines: deep, dark profound, perfectly balanced between the abundant fruit provided by well-tended Rhone varieties and the secondary aromas and flavors of garrigue, including wild thyme, lavender and an earthy minerality. The artisanal care that goes into making these wines is apparent in the finesse that balances their power: very fine tannins and long, flavorful finishes that go on forever. These are wines that speak to the very best of the southern Rhone. The wines are vegan.|
2012 vintage report: "The harvest was finished the 4th of october. Beautiful harvest, small in quantity (20% less for the Gigondas than 2011) but very good quality (small grapes, healthy bunches).
There was a big frost during the winter when a lot a vines died, followed by a nice spring with a lot of beneficial rain, and a very, very dry summer. The vintage started slowly on September 14th with some sun. The ripeness of the grapes was very uneven from one vine to another and picking had to be done right. The wines are still in tank and are rich in tannins with good acidity. A promising vintage with great minerality." October 2012.
2013 vintage report: a vintage that is going to be very hard to manage. The harvest was about 3 weeks later than usual and started the first week of October... with very low yields on the Grenache, about 50% less because of "coulure".
|Domaine du Pesquier Website|
|Cotes du Rhone|
|A Cotes du Rhone may be a simple entry-level wine for most producers in the Rhone but for Pesquier this is a much more serious effort. The grapes come from a 5 acre plot in Sablet where they could make a cotes du rhone villages level wine but instead make an over-achieving straight cotes du rhone. The Pesquier Cotes du Rhone is both lively and profound with extraordinary textural details, an explosive nose and great length in the mouth; flavors of dark red fruits, licorice root and cocoa abound within a structure of fine tannins. Only 700 cases are made of this superb Grenache 70%, Mourvedre 20% blend (plus 10% Carignan and Cinsault). |
|The Pesquier Gigondas is the standard-bearer of the domaine. Three-quarters of their vineyard holdings are in some of the most prized sub-regions of the appellation including nearly 8 acres in the Dentelle Mountains, considered the best area for Gigondas grapes where the soils are a stony, red clay.|
The wine is a blend of Grenache 75% and Syrah 20% with 5% Mourvedre. The grapes are harvested by hand and then undergo a long, gentle vinification with indigenous yeasts: after the grapes are slightly crushed (they now leave one cuve of whole clusters) they undergo a 3 day cold soak; the alcoholic fermentation, at a relatively cool 85 degrees, lasts 4 weeks during which the wines go through a process called delestage. Delestage replaces remontage for a better yet gentler extraction. The juice is emptied from the cuve while the dry marc warms up, as it continues to ferment, and polyphénols are set free. The juice is then replaced from above. Like making Italian coffee the juice infuses the must. This long process builds greater complexity in the wines and rounds out the tannins.
The wines are then moved to cement vats for about 6 months where they undergo malolactic fermentation. Finally the wines are left to rest in large casks (foudres) for 12 months to age and are then bottled unfined and unfiltered, just before harvest.
The Domaine Pesquier Gigondas sports a beautiful ruby colour, dark and deep. This traditionally structured wine reveals itself slowly but steadily, first displaying red fruits and then notes of garrigue followed by cocoa and licorice root. The aromas are rich and layered, the palate is intense and silky, with a big body and finely-knit tannins. This Gigondas represents the very best of bold, classic southern Rhone red wines.
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