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Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Crau 2011

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • W&S96
  • WS93
  • RP92
14% ABV
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5.0 1 Ratings
14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

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, havingbeen 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.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 96
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.
WS 93
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.
RP 92
Robert Parker's 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

Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe

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Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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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.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape

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Famous for its full-bodied, seductive and spicy reds with flavor and aroma characteristics of silky black cherry, baked raspberry, garrigue, olive tapenade, lavender and baking spice, Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the leading sub-appellation of the southern Rhone River Valley. Large pebbles resembling river rocks, called galets in French, dominate most of the terrain. The stones hold heat and reflect it back up to the low-lying gobelet-trained vines. Though the galets are typical, they are not prominent in every vineyard. Chateau Rayas is the most obvious deviation with very sandy soil.

According to law, eighteen grape varieties are allowed in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and most wines are blends of some mix of these. For reds, Grenache is the star player with Mourvedre and Syrah coming typically second. Others used include Cinsaut, Counoise and occasionally Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Picquepoul Noir and Terret Noir.

Only about 6-7% of wine from Chateauneuf-du-Pape is white. Blends and single-varietal bottlings are typically based on the soft and floral Grenache Blanc but Clairette, Bourboulenc and Roussanne are grown with some significance.

The wine of Chateauneuf-du-Pape takes its name from the relocation of the papal court to Avignon. The lore says that after moving in 1309, Pope Clément V (after whom Chateau Pape-Clément in Pessac-Léognan is named) ordered that vines were planted. But it was actually his successor, John XXII, who established the vineyards. The name however, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, translated as "the pope's new castle," didn’t really stick until the 19th century.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of spice, Rhône red blends originated in France’s Southern Rhône valley and have become popular in Priorat, Washington, South Australia, and California’s Central Coast. In the Rhône itself, 19 grape varieties are permitted for use, but many of these blends, are based on Grenache and supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre, earning the nickname “GSM blends.” Côtes du Rhône and Châteauneuf-du-Pape are perhaps the best-known outposts for these wines. Other varieties that may be found in Rhône blends include Carignan, Cinsault, and Counoise.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache, which often forms the base of these blends, is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit, a plush texture, and often high levels of alcohol. Syrah supplies darker fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy, and meaty notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume as well as body, tannin, and a healthy dose of color. New World examples will lie further along the fruit-forward end of the spectrum, while those from the Old World taste and smell much earthier, often with a “barnyard” character that is attractive to many fans of these wines.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. Depending on the weight and alcohol level, these can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes—they play equally well with beef, pork, duck, lamb, or game. With their high acidity, these wines are best-matched with salty or fatty foods, and can handle the acidity of tomato sauce in pizza or pasta. Braised beef cheeks, grilled lamb sausages, or roasted squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the Rhône red blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin, and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah, Zinfandel, or even Tempranillo make an appearance.

WBW30101025_2011 Item# 127028