Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Crau 2011
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.
Wine & Spirits - "The Bruniers pull this wine from old vines planted in the complex soils of La Crau, where the layers of alluvial soil, limestone, silica and red clay are all topped with large, smooth galets. In 2011, the wine radiates life, the scent alone invigorating in its vibrancy. It smells like a vineyard, earthy, herbal, sunny and warm; the flavors follow in the same vein, lush yet restrained in its focused, complexly spiced, wild cherry taste. It’s not at all heavy, but it’s a powerful wine, able to communicate the complexity of the site in a single sip."
Wine Spectator - "Tightly coiled for now, with pepper garrigue and briar notes wrapped around a core of steeped cherry, damson plum and blackberry fruit. Cedar and sandalwood accents line the finish, revealing a hint of blood orange. this needs some cellaring to unwind fully. "
International Wine Cellar - "Bright ruby-red. Black raspberry, cherry compote, potpourri and Asian spices on the highly perfumed nose. Juicy red and dark berry flavors stain the palate, showing terrific clarity and spicy lift. The spicy quality comes back strong on the finish, which is framed by silky, harmonious tannins. In a graceful, almost weightless style, with zero excess fat but noteworthy flavor intensity. I underestimated this wine last year."
The Wine Advocate - "Forward and up-front, especially by this cuvee-s standards, the 2011 Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf (65% Grenache from 70-year-old vines, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre and the balance other permitted varieties) exhibits perfumed aromas of herbs de Provence, seaweed wrapper, garrigue and olive to go with plenty of sweet kirsch and berry fruit. Medium-bodied, fresh and elegant, with fine tannin, it can be consumed now (with a decant) or cellared for a decade. Drink now-2025."
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Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Winery
One cannot think of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the most celebrated cru of the Southern Rhône, without thinking of Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe. 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 Télégraphe 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 Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s grandest cru.
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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