Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe - Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau 2020
The domaine’s old vines in the terroir of La Crau produce some of the most exciting Grenache in the world, and the select blending of their other native grapes, along with a long, patient aging process in large, oval foudre casks, produces the magic of Vieux Télégraphe. This classic opens with a voluptuous aroma that gives and gives—it is striking because of its charm and floral notes. How many Châteauneufs can boast of those two traits?
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 Vineyards are sustainably farmed, and hand harvested. Two rigorous sortings of the grapes following the harvest and are aged in 50-60 hl foudres
Sourced from La Crau, the lieu-dit that is known for the galet roulés, or rounded stones, that cover the vineyard for as far as the eye can see. The grapes are partially de-stemmed and traditional fermentation between 25-35 days in stainless steel and wood cuves (all temperature-controlled). The Wine rests in cement tank for 10 months, and then ages for another 12 months in foudre and bottled unfiltered, after 22 months of aging
"Tasted as a tank sample of the final blend, the 2020 Chateauneuf du Pape La Crau is a blend of approximately 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah and 5% other permitted varieties, with about 30% whole bunches used in the ferments. Marked by ripe cherries and hints of complex garrigue notes on the nose, it's full-bodied but also really elegant, with fine-grained, silky tannins, ample concentration and a long, surprisingly crisp finish." - 95 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
"This amazing Chateauneuf-du-Pape squares the circle of southern richness and spring-like freshness in spite of coming from a very warm and dry vintage. The stony minerality, saltiness and dried flower character wind together to form a dynamic whole, driving this gracefully across the palate. But I must also mention the savory and licorice richness that is so deftly wrapped around them. Very long, salty and velvety finish." - 97 points, James Suckling