They call her the Dark Queen of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. It's not some brilliant branding idea from a marketing propellor-head cum Game of Thrones super-fan, rather a homage to how Laurence Feraud coaxes out of her wines such dark, deep and earthly characteristics even at an early stage. This is not something to be found everywhere in this part of world. From a branding point of view it's a sensational handle, but by all accounts Feraud is anything but that. She appears to be venerated by all who meet her as a bright, massively energetic and a truly gifted icon of the Rhone.
Her oftentimes fathomless reds will always have a special place in my personal wine journey. Domaine Pegau was the first very first CDP I ever tasted and the earth surely moved that day. I have spent many a year “working” through as much CDP as I can find but I always find myself drawn back to Laurence’s wines as my benchmark.
The secret? Well for me it’s the mystical energy that glows from the depths of the glass. Somehow the intensity of the fruit is lent an air of grace and charm, even at aforementioned relatively early stages.
Laurence’s family have been in the game for centuries but it was only when she returned from Paris in 1987 and insisted that her father (then Domaine Ferraud) allow her into the winery and onto the ten hectares of family vines, that Domaine Pegau was born.
They say that becoming an overnight success takes time and in the case of the Feraud family it took around 400 years. I for one am thrilled that the trajectory of Laurence’s career has been so steep. Firstly because we are all the very much better for it and secondly, it reminds me that this insane industry called wine is constantly developing and new success stories are always just around the corner …