Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Crau (375ML half-bottle) 2009
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
A classic red Châteauneuf-du-Pape, very fine and elegant. The best vintages will age for 25 years and more.
Wine Spectator - "This is crammed with fruit, spice and structure, as braised fig, plum skin, cassis and anise notes wrestle with roasted apple wood, melted red licorice and tar for now. The embedded grip should carry the finish until this assimilates fully. Best from 2014 through 2024."
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."
The Wine Advocate - "This 135-acre estate (all in the famed La Crau) has produced a 2009 Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf du Pape composed of 65% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvedre and the rest other authorized varietals (from vines that average 60 years of age). The wine is aged 18 months in foudres and concrete tanks. This classic offering had just been bottled before my visit, so it was probably tighter than it will be in 6-12 months. Deep ruby/purple-colored with notes of garrigue, seaweed, licorice, plums, black cherries and raspberries, it typically reveals a Mediterranean sea breeze-like character that is difficult to articulate. The sweetness of the tannin, full-bodied mouthfeel, and evolved style remind me somewhat of the 1983, which is still drinking beautifully. The 2009 can be consumed now or cellared for two decades. "
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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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