Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Crau (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2010
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
One cannot think of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the most celebrated cru of the Southern Rhone, without thinking of Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe. The Brunier family is legendary in its own right, having been rooted to the enigmatic plateau known as "La Crau" for over one hundred years.
The wines of Vieux Telegraphe evoke the concept of terroir in its purest form: they reflect their dramatic climate, the rough terrain that defines the soil, their full sun exposure at a higher altitude, the typicity of the varietals with an emphasis on Grenache, and of course, the influence of their caretakers, the Brunier family. For many, La Crau is Chateauneuf-du-Pape's grandest cru.
The Wine Advocate - "Performing considerably better than it did prior to bottling, the 2010 Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf du Pape is one of the all-time great Vieux Telegraphes I have tasted in the last 3+ decades. I believe it is even superior to the 2007, which I had several weeks ago. The 2010 boasts a dense purple color along with a sumptuous bouquet of spring flowers, boysenberries, black cherries, black currants, nori (the sushi seaweed wrapper), black olives, licorice and pepper. This full-bodied, meaty, thick, juicy effort possesses a boatload of tannin, but it also has incredible concentration. More massive than I remember from last year, it has put on considerable weight and intensity. Forget it for 3-4 years, and drink it over the following 25-30 years. Kudos to Daniel and Frederic Brunier!"
Wine Spectator - "Coated with unctuous linzer torte, warm plum sauce and pure cassis fruit flavors, while notes of maduro tobacco, mint, green fig and toasted anise flitter throughout. This is lush and dense, but well-harnessed through the finish, with a mouthwatering roasted apple wood note and lingering fresh acidity. Best from 2014 through 2030."
International Wine Cellar - " Bright ruby. Intense red fruit and potpourri aromas show excellent precision and a suave, spicy character. Licorice and lavender nuances add complexity to juicy raspberry and bitter cherry flavors, with the wine putting on weight in the glass. Finishes taut and youthfully tangy, with echoing licorice and spice notes."
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Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Winery
The AOC for Chateauneuf-du-Pape is in the Rhone Valley stretching from Orange to Avignon. Domaine Vieux Telegraphe was founded in 1895, and takes it name Vieux Telegraphe (Old Telegraph) from a rocky plateau of the Domaine where in 1792 Me. Chappe, the inventor of the optical telegraph, installed a relay tower. View all Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Wines
About Chateauneuf-du-PapeView a map of Chateauneuf-du-Pape wineries (shah-too-NUHF due Pahp)Southern Rhone's landmark region, Chateauneuf du Pape, was the first region to gain AC status in France. That was the 1920s – it's history goes much further back than that. As the name suggests, the wine region was named after the "new papal home," referring to the period of time in the 1300's when the pope resided in Avignon instead of Rome.
Photo of galets covering the soil at Chateau de Beaucastel
Notable FactsThere are 13 allowed varieties in Chateauneuf du Pape (14 if you count Grenache Blanc separately from Grenache Noir). Grenache is the primary variety, followed by Syrah and Mourvedre as well as Cinsault. About 97% of the wines here are red, although many chateaux are producing whites ranging from quaffable to decadent and ageworthy. Reds from the best estates emit wonderful flavors of gamey spice, blackberries and currant, as well as the herbs and spices that are known to grow in the region.
Note on the soil: The grapes grow on soils covered in rounded, smooth stones called galets (gah-lay). The stones naturally cover most of the soils throughout Chateauneuf du Pape and are two fold in their duties. First, they are able to reflect and absorb the heat, to quicken the ripening of the grapes. They also help to hold in moisture so that the soils are not dried out by the hot Southern French sun.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.