The Pehu from Olympus
If I remember correctly, David Pehu was acquainted with Elisabeth Chartogne, and asked through her whether he could get me samples to taste. These were on the table one afternoon in Merfy, alongside samples from another grower which I thinkcame to me through (then) young Alexandre. What I do remember – for obvious reasons, as you’ll see – was that Michel Bettane was also present, as he was a pal of Elisabeth’s. (I remember him flipping through my catalogue and exclaiming when he got to the Lallement page, “I discovered them!”)
I tasted as I always did, or sought to do; respectfully, attentively and hopefully. I was always pleased to have someone new to be stoked about. And so I was wellpleased when Pehu’s wine impressed me. The other grower’s wines were unfortunately riddled with reductions, and while it was possible to glean the underlying quality, the thiols irritated me. I bring this up because that grower has gone on to have a sterling reputation and much success in the market. But on the day the wines were gnarly.
(Incidentally, this was part of the reason I stuck with Moussé while he was plotting his course, because I knew where he’d end up and I didn’t want to lose out by being impatient.) I have, I must admit, asked myself more than a few what-if questions, especially when David Pehu himself struggled with obstreperous family matters and uncooperative vintages. But, you know….some days you get the bear, some days the bear gets you.
I stayed confident that Pehu would prevail in the fullness of time, and I’m happy to say that he has, based on this collection. I no longer have any need to be “vindicated,” as I’m not selling the wines, and only commenting from my Olympian remove (!) but it’s still good to see a good guy do the good work I suspected him capable of. If you’re looking for a quick-and-dirty summary of what the wines are like, I’ll take a stab at it, but I want you to know that it’s difficult, and for all the best reasons. Do proceed to the tasting report.