Mont Ventoux is perhaps better known to cycling fans than wine lovers, but the wines of Château Pesquié do absolute justice to one of France’s most spectacular landscapes. Described by Joe Czerwinski (the Wine Advocate) as ‘one of the great estates of the Ventoux’, Château Pesquié has long been a standard-bearer for the appellation. It is today run by Alexandre and Frédéric Chaudière, whose grandparents purchased the estate in 1973.
At an altitude of between 250 and 400 metres, Ventoux is among the coolest sectors of the Southern Rhône, accounting in part for the freshness and finesse that characterise the estate’s wines. While Grenache and Syrah together make up 70% of the plantings, no fewer than twelve grape varieties are grown here, all farmed organically (certified) and biodynamically.
The single vineyard Artemia and Silica cuvées showcase specific terroirs – gravelly and sandy limestone soils respectively – while Quintessence and Les Terrasses are assembled from plots on the clay-limestone soils typical of the appellation. As Jeb Dunnuck notes, the Grenache-dominated Terrasses represents remarkable value for money and is delicious from the word go (yet has the capacity to age gracefully).
2019 was a relatively straightforward vintage in the vineyards. Rain on August 10th put paid to the threat of drought, while fine weather throughout September ensured the healthiest of crops. The grapes were harvested by hand and processed in the estate’s gravity-fed winery. The 2019s were raised in a combination of barrels, 600L demi-muids and concrete vats, as well as concrete eggs in the case of Silica.
The resulting wines combine lifted aromatics, bright acidity and a tremendous sense of detail with all the power and presence you would wish for from the Southern Rhône.
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