Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe, Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge La Crau, 2009
Region: Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
Bottle size: 75cl
Grape: 65% Grenache Noir, 15% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah, Cinsault, Clairette and others 5%
WA: 94 points
A super showing for this wine, the 2009 Chateauneuf du Pape is meaty and intense, with black olives and black cherries equally sharing the spotlight. Full-bodied, rich and velvety, with a long finish. 94 points. Joe Czerwinski, Wine Advocate, August 2019
Vines are on average 70 years old. Grapes are hand-picked, with double sorting at the vine, then a third sorting in the winery. Gentle pressing and selective destemming, followed by 30-40 days’ traditional fermentation in temperature–controlled stainless-steel and wooden vats. Pneumatic pressing, then systematic malolactic fermentation. 20-22 months in French oak foudres (60hl). Bottled unfined and unfiltered, then released at 2 years.
It was Henri Brunier who penned the first chapter of this wonderful family story in 1891, in the village of Bédarrides, well known today as occupying the southeastern portion of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape AOC area. In that year, he gifted to his son Hippolyte some plots of land on La Crau, a place in those days considered practically unfit for cultivation, its soil a thankless proposition due to a high density of pebbles. The latter planted his first vine stocks on this commanding plateau, where grapes had first been grown in the 14th century; and where, in 1821, Claude Chappe, inventor of the optical telegraph, built one of his signal towers. Hippolyte’s son, Jules, extended the estate to 42 acres and aptly named the fruits of his labours “Vieux Télégraphe”.