Everything about Domaine Pierre Usseglio, Chateauneuf du Pape, Rhone wine producer profile with wine tasting notes, wine and food pairings, best vintages, wine ratings, a history of the property, information on wine making and terroir, along with wine tasting reviews and images. If you want to read about other important wineries and wine makers from the Rhone valley: Links to all Rhone Valley Wine Producer Profiles
Domaine Pierre Usseglio History, Overview
Pierre Usseglio, not to be confused with Raymond Usseglio (which is a different winery owned by his brother,) was founded in 1948 by Francis Usseglio. Francis moved to the Rhone from Italy in 1931. Francis had two sons, Pierre Usseglio and Raymond Usseglio.
Pierre Usseglio took over this domaine and his brother Raymond created his winery using his name which is how you have two different Usseglio wines in the Southern Rhone Valley today. The children of Pierre Usseglio, Jean-Pierre Usseglio and Thierry Usseglio manage the Pierre Usseglio estate. That change took place in 1999. One of the first changes the new generation of owners did was begin to completely destem the grapes starting with the 2001 vintage.
Domaine Pierre Usseglio Vineyards, Wines, Winemaking
Domaine Pierre Usseglio owns 22 hectares of vineyards spread out over 15 different, small parcels in Chateauneuf du Pape. 1 hectare is used for the production of white Chateauneuf du Pape wine. The remaining 21 hectares are used for making red wine. The terroir is a combination of sand and rocky soils. The vineyards are give or take, planted to 75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 6% Mourvedre, 5% Cinsault, 2% Counoise and 2% Muscardin for the red wine grapes.
The best vintages of Domaine Pierre Usseglio are: 2016, 2015, 2012, 2010, 2009, 2007, 2005, 2003, 2001, 2000 and 1998.
Domaine Pierre Usseglio Vineyards, Wines, Winemaking
Domaine Pierre Usseglio produces 3 red Chateauneuf du Pape wines and 1 white Chateauneuf du Pape wine.
Domaine Pierre Usseglio is produced from a blend of 75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 6% Mourvedre, 5% Cinsault, 2% Counoise and 2% Muscardin, which is the same as their vineyard plantings. The vines range in age from 30 to 65 years of age. The terroir is a mix of rocks, stones, sand and limestone soils. The vines are planted in the la Bigote, Charbonnieres, la Crau, les Esqueirons, les Galimardes, le Grand Pierre, la Guigasse, Maucoil, Pignan les Serres, and the Valori lieux-dits. The wine is aged for 18-24 months in a combination of foudres, demu-muids, tank and used, French oak casks for 12 months. The production is on average close to 3,500 cases per year.
Domaine Pierre Usseglio Cuvee Mon Aieul made its debut in 1998. Most of the fruit comes from old vine, low yielding, Grenache that was planted in 1926. The vines come from 3 separate vineyards that are located in three different parts of the appellation. In the north, they have land in Guigasse, to the south they have vines in Les Serres and in the eastern portion of Chateauneuf du Pape they have vines in La Crau and Pignan. This provides a terroir of rocks and sandy soils.
The wine is usually produced from a blend of 95% old vine Grenache with 5% Syrah, although there are some vintages made with 100% Grenache. The fruit is 100% destemmed. The wine is aged for 14-16 months in demi-muid and concrete tanks before bottling. However, the Syrah can be aged in used, French oak barrels for 12 months. The production of Usseglio Mon Aieul is on average close to 1,600 cases per year.
Domaine Pierre Usseglio Reserve des Deux Freres made its debut with the 2000 vintage. The wine is made from a blend of the estate’s oldest Grenache vines and 10% Syrah. The grapes are not full destemmed. The amount of stems varies, depending on the vintage. More modern in style, the wine is aged in a combination of new demi muids. barrels and in a combination of one year old, or two year old, French oak barrels. Domaine Pierre Usseglio Reserve des Deux Freres is not made every year, but when it is, only 500 cases are produced. Aside from being expensive, the bottles of Réserve des Deux Frères are over-sized and do not fit in standard wine racks. Trust me, it can be a problem. But the wines are sublime.
Domaine Pierre Usseglio Blanc is made from a blend of 70% Grenache Blanc, 20% Clairette and 10% Bourboulenc. Most of the wine is aged in stainless steel tanks, however a small portion of the wine is aged in new, French oak barrels for 6 months. Not much is made as only 350 cases are produced each vintage.
Domaine Pierre Usseglio Mon Aieul is my favorite wine from Pierre Usseglio. I often find it more interesting and a much better value than their more expensive, Deux Freres offering, which can be stunning.
Domaine Pierre Usseglio Not For You has only been produced in 2 vintages, 2007 and 2010. Not For You is produced from old vine Grenache picked from vines close to 100 years of age. The grapes come from the Les Grandes Serres lieu-dit. What makes this wine unique is that it took almost two years to finish fermentation! Extremely high in alcohol, at close to 18%, this high octane wine is said to resemble the Cuvee Speciale from Bonneau that is very port like. It develops this unique character because it retains close to 2-3 grams of sugar. Obviously the Usseglio brothers are having some fun with the wine’s name. But try finding a bottle. Production is extremely limited, in fact, less than 400 bottles were produced.
Serving and Decanting Domaine Pierre Usseglio with Wine, Food Pairing Tips
Domaine Pierre Usseglio is best served at 15.5 degrees Celsius, 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool, almost cellar temperature gives the wine more freshness and lift. Young vintages can be popped and poured, or decanted for an hour so. This allows the wine to soften and open its perfume. Older vintages might need very little decanting, just enough to remove the sediment. Domaine Pierre Usseglio is best served with all types of classic meat dishes, veal, pork, beef, lamb, duck, game, roast chicken, roasted, braised, stewed dishes, sausage and cassoulet. Domaine Pierre Usseglio is also good with Asian dishes, hearty fish courses like tuna, salmon, mushrooms pasta, eggplant and tomatoes.
The white wine of Domaine Pierre Usseglio is best served with a myriad of different seafood dishes, shellfish, crab, lobster, sushi, sashimi, chicken, pork and veal, as well as Asian cuisine.
From time to time, Domaine Pierre Usseglio has produced a few one off wines. In 1999, they released Cuvee de Cinquantenaire, a 200 case production made from 100% old vine Grenache. This can be see as a precursor to the Reserve des Deux Freres.
Domaine Pierre Usseglio also produces wine from 2.5 hectares of vines they own in the Cotes du Rhone and Lirac appellations.