Browse Tag


Walden Rhône

Costières & Soleil “Sélection Laurence Féraud” 2005 Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages Séguret (Rhône) – Fading, with its structure now taking control of the dark, earthen, somewhat tarred fruit. Drink up. (11/11)

Pégau club

Féraud “Domaine du Pégau” 1990 Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Cuvée Réservée” (Rhône) – As this comes from the cellar of a friend that I’ve usually described as “glacial,” I expect it – like previous versions of this same wine from the same cellar – to be unready. It’s not; in fact, it’s beautifully mature, and I express some surprise. Of course, it turns out that the wine spent most of its life in said friend’s brother’s cellar, which explains things. Well, it’s nice to know that I can spot the difference. So, from normal cellars: drink nowish. What you’ll get is the usual aged-Châteauneuf meat juice, a little buffed up and muscular, with more polish than usual and a weight that was, once, expressed as heat but has now mostly integrated in a fashion I can’t quite (chemically) grasp…or maybe this is a transient pairing effect of the cheese with which we drank it. In any case, it’s as supple and sophisticated as any aged Châteauneuf of my experience, and while it doesn’t have a whole lot of complexity to show for its maturity, what it has is extremely nice. (9/11)


Costières & Soleil “Sélectionné par Laurence Féraud” 2009 Vin de Table “Plan Pégau” (Rhône) – Even more structured and manly than usual, which makes me wonder if the non-Rhône-traditional grape component of this wine has been upped. Dusty, a bit tarry, and hazy with blackened fruit. The ideal match might be mastodon. (7/11)


Costières & Soleil “Sélection Laurence Féraud” 2005 Séguret (Rhône) –I gave up on this wine about a year ago, as it had provided tasty post-release quaffing but seemed to be headed towards a rather abrupt expiration. I may have been too hasty, because this is back. I don’t know if much has changed, exactly, but the descending veils have been re-lifted, and the dark, earthy fruit is once more on full display. Perhaps the tannin has faded just a bit? Aside from that, it’s the same wine it was in its highly approachable youth. I’d recommend drinking, but it’s clear I don’t have as firm a handle on this wine as I once thought, so for all I know it’ll be an ager. I’m drinking mine anyway, because that way it won’t continue to prove me wrong. (11/10)

Costières & Soleil “Sélection Laurence Féraud” 2005 Séguret (Rhône) – See the previous note, to which this would be pretty much identical. (11/10)

Costières & Soleil “Sélection Laurence Féraud” 2005 Séguret (Rhône) – This third bottle, and (I think) my last, is a little more faded and on a trajectory similar to all the previous bottles. So were the last two the anomalies, or is this? Well, it’s now moot unless my friends are stashing some. (11/10)

Féraud salad

Féraud “Domaine du Pégau” 1990 Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Rhône) – From an arctic cellar. Raw musculature, flexed and buffed. There’s a deep, dark, Rhône-ish throb of black earth and smoked heart, but it’s still very structured. Heavy without being overweighted, and from this particular source it has many years left to unclench before it’s a genial party guest. (7/10)


Féraud “Domaine du Pégau” 1994 Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Cuvée Réservée” (Rhône) – From a very cold cellar, so read what follows in that context. Rounding into form, but not yet done describing that arc. Classic earth, underbrush, meat, and antique funk – heavy on the meat, with just a little bit of stink; only the truly brett-averse will cavil – in a somewhat heavy-handed but not leaden package. The weight of the hand comes from an overabundance of structure, and I don’t know that the wine’s other elements will outlast that structure. But it’s enjoyable enough to drink now, so if this is an anxiety, why wait? Otherwise…wait. Not too long. (1/10)


Costières & Soleil “Sélectionné par Laurence Féraud” 2005 “Plan Pégau” Vin de Table (Rhône) – After a number of very poor showings, my most recent two bottles have evidenced a bit of a comeback. Perhaps I judged prematurely. In any case, there continues to be no obvious reason to hold onto these wines longer than the time it takes to drink them, for as the structure fades, the dark and sloshy fruit remains firmly in place, yet with someone’s hand pulling back on the fader. A fair quaff. (12/09)

The Costières of doing business

Costières & Soleil “Sélection Laurence Féraud” 2005 Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages Séguret (Rhône) – Better than these bottles sometimes are, with earthy/smoky black fruit and a fair collection of dried herbs, but these jeans are fading and a little stretched. I’d be looking for the most recent vintage, if you’re of a mind to drink this. (12/09)


Costières & Soleil “Sélection Laurence Féraud” 2007 Côtes-du-Rhône-Villages Séguret (Rhône) – As I’ve worked my way though my rapidly-decaying stash of the 2005 version of this wine, this bottle has only served to confirm my conviction that this is a label for immediate consumption. I don’t personally think that Séguret should decline as quickly as this one does, but the evidence is clear: drink it when you buy it, and not later. Smooth, succulent Southern Rhônishness, full of garrigue and musky fruit scented with earth and that grenache-y touch of gum. Nice. Did I mention to hurry up and drink it? (9/09)

Féraud swine

Costières & Soleil “Sélectionnée par Laurence Féraud” 2005 “Plan Pégau” (Rhône) – A hyped wine that has never really done a whole lot for me aside from my first taste. It’s flavorsome and full, but it’s also boring and more than a little disjointed, with soil and herb here, tobacco and tar there, and no real middle in which to meet. (10/09)

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