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The Latest From Chateau Pesquie

Mount Ventoux, Image from Chateau Pesquie

Chateau Pesquie is located in Ventoux which is a large appellation at the south-east end of the Rhone region.  The appellation is named after the 2000 meter Mount Ventoux.  The vineyards at Chateau Pesquie experience plenty of dry sunshine, are buffeted by the Mistral, and have cool evenings and winters due to the mountain.

Chateau Pesquie, Image from Chateau Pesquie

Vines have been cultivated at the estate since the Roman times.  The chateau itself with its trees which line the driveway date back to the 1750s.  The modern origins of the winery trace back to the 1970s when Odette and Rene Bastide bought Chateau Pesquie.  They planted new vineyards but also kept some existing parcels.  Today the estate is run by grandchildren Alexandre and Frederic along with their cousin Renaud.  The use only organic, humus-based fertilizers.  They mechanically plow between rows to maintain weeds though one out of two rows is enherbé or grassed.  The majority of harvesting is performed mechanically with their own machine which has an integrated selector.  This allows them to immediately process a mature parcel very early in the morning or late at night when it is cool and dark.  Fermentation typically occurs in stainless steel with a good portion of the wines aged in cement.  They use a combination of indigenous and inoculated yeasts.

The Family, Image from Chateau Pesquie

The last vintage I have tasted from Chateau Pesquie is the 2007 Quintessence.  That was one year ago (you may find my post here).  It was a wine I enjoyed very much thus promptly purchased several more bottles.  The 2011 Terrasses and the 2010 Quintessence showed up at MacArthur Beverages a few weeks ago.  This week we tasted both of these wines over two nights without any Private Preserve. Frédéric states that both the 2010 and 2011 vintages were very good in the Ventoux area.  While they have similar color and concentration the 2010 has a little more tannins.  He finds the 2011 rounder and more enjoyable to drink young with the 2010 having a longer aging potential.

Frédéric and Alexandre, Image from Chateau Pesquie

Terrasses is a blend of various terroirs with soils of mostly limestone but also of clay and sand.  The parcels are on the lower slopes of Mount Ventoux so they are on hillsides of at the foot with some shape.  They lie at altitudes of 250-350 meters.  The vines used for Terrasses are 25 years of age.   The 2011 Terrasses changed a lot of the course of one evening and into the second.  It started off bright, tart, and leaner with a particular enthusiasm but on the second night it had put on flesh and weight as if it had passed through its teenage years.  There is a lot going on, particularly at this price.  It is certainly worth a purchase.  If you try it then double-decant it three hours ahead or better yet, wait a year or two.

Aging Cellar, Image from Chateau Pesquie

The vines used for Quintessence are at similar altitudes as the Terrasses but are 40-50 years old.  Most of the vines around 40 years of age were planted by Odette and Rene with the older vines already in existence.  The lower yield of these vines result in great concentration.  The 2010 Quintessence fools you by making you think you should drink it young.  There are attractive dark, dense flavors with Christmas spices and a savory quality.  But this wine barely budged over two night so I would personally recommend cellaring it for five years.  Many thanks to Frédéric Chaudière for answering my questions and providing the images.  These wines were purchased from MacArthur Beverages.

2011 Chateau Pesquie, Terrasses, Ventoux – $13
Imported by Eric Solomon/European Cellars Selections.  This wine is a blend of 70% Grenache and 30% Syrah (with bits of Carignan and Cinsault) sourced hillside vines at 300 meters.  Maceration lasts 15 days followed by aging for one year  in 35% in 2-4 year old oak barrels and tanks.  Alcohol 14.5%.  The light nose is of red fruit mixed with herbs and yeasty red fruit.  With air bright and powdery red fruit develops with a textured quality.  In the mouth the wine starts off lighter with tart red fruit mixed with plenty of acidity.  With air the wine puts on weight and fleshes out showing black fruit acidity and integrated tannins.  The flavors are lively on the tongue and there is a little yeasty note.  ***  2014-2019.

2010 Chateau Pesquie, Quintessence, Ventoux – $22
Imported by Eric Solomon/European Cellars Selections.  This wine is a blend of 80% Syrah and 20% Grenache (40-50 years old) sourced from vines at 230-260 meters on soils of sand and pebbles on clay and limestone.  Maceration lasts three weeks followed by aging for one year in 60% new and 40% one to two-year old oak barrels.  Alcohol 15%.  The color is a medium+ ruby garnet.  The light to medium strength nose bears dense aromas which lurk, waiting for age.  In the mouth this wine is savory with heavy flavors, Christmas spice custard, and soft, dark notes.  This is a bigger wine which starts supple but a chassis-like supporting structure comes out.  Towards the finish it becomes a little inky with some spicy red fruit, rather fine drying tannins, and some warmth in the aftertaste.  ***(*)  Now-2025.

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