Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf Du Pape La Crau 2020 - Rhone Valley
Bottle size: 750ml
“It’s the soil,” insists Daniel Brunier, of the rocky field where the vines of Domaine Vieux Telegraphe are planted. The plateau of La Crau ascends 130 meters above sea level where a unique terrain and micro-climate help to develop the wines of Vieux Telegraphe in the AOC (Controlled Designation of Origin) of Chateauneuf-Du-Pape. Considered unfit for cultivation, its soil a thankless proposition due to a high density of pebbles; this is where Henri Brunier, in 1891, lay claim to what would become one of the most iconic domaines in all of Chateauneuf-du-Pape. What began as a small and potentially impossible endeavor, has turned into a family empire that now controls 247 acres in Southern Rhone, producing 16,000 bottles annually.
Such a deep and meaty nose with a slew of wild-herb, savory and subtle balsamic notes. Then comes the expansive and very concentrated palate, which reveals so many spicy nuances as it rolls over the palate, the stunning fine tannins pushing the finish out even further. A grenache-based blend from 60-year-old vines. Score: 96-97, JamesSuckling.com, Tasted: 7 March 2022
The 2020 Châteauneuf Du Pape also showed well, with a lighter, elegant style that still brings plenty of intensity. Black cherries, mulberries, dried violets, and loamy earth define the bouquet, and it’s medium-bodied, balanced, and finessedriven on the palate, with ripe tannins as well as a terrific sense of salinity on the finish. Give bottles 3-4 years and enjoy over the following 15+. Score: 94, Jeb Dunnuck, Tasted: 5 December 2022
Tasted as a tank sample of the final blend, the 2020 Châteauneuf du Pape La Crau is a blend of approximately 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah and 5% other permitted varieties, with about 30% whole bunches used in the ferments. Marked by ripe cherries and hints of complex garrigue notes on the nose, it’s full-bodied but also really elegant, with fine-grained, silky tannins, ample concentration and a long, surprisingly crisp finish. Score: 93-95, Wine Advocate – Joe Czerwinski, Issue: 6 May 2022, Drink: 2022-2040
One of the Rhône's great estates, Vieux Telegraphe is run by Fredec and Daniel Brunier, the great-grandsons of founder, Hippolyte Brunier. The domaine occupies some 70 hectares on the stony plateau of Le Crau in the east of the Châteauneufdu- Pape appellation. The wines of Vieux Telegraphe are true classics - robust and earthy with strong personalities and a great track record of longevity in the cellar. The reds are led by Grenache with Mourvedre and Syrah following in behind and are aged in concrete tank for 9 months before time in foudre. As a counterpoint to the estates rich red wine offerings, the white wines show great detail and clarity with the Châteauneuf predominately Clairette and Grenache Blanc with aging split between stainless steel tanks and barrique.
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