Vieux Télégraphe is one of the most renowned estates of the Southern Rhône. Vieux Télégraphe is a large estate and there are about 45 hectares of red grapevines planted, with an average age of around 55 years. Blessed with one of the finest locations in the area, the particularly hot microclimate is such that the Bruniers, owners of the estate for almost a century, are able to harvest as much as a week ahead of their neighbours. Vieux Télégraphe’s blend is a typical one, with Grenache accounting for around two thirds, the rest being made up of Syrah and Mourvèdre in roughly equal proportions, and a tiny bit of Cinsault.
GRAPE VARIETIES: 65% Grenache Noir, 15% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah, Cinsault, Clairette and others 5%.
VINE AGE: 70 years on average.
VINIFICATION: 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.
MATURATION: 20-22 months in French oak foudres (60hl). Bottled unfined and unfiltered, then released at 2 years.
Slated to be bottled less than a week after my visit, the final blend of the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape La Crau is fresh, vibrant and zesty, with notes of roses, tea, raspberries and blood oranges. Full-bodied yet diaphanous and silky, it doesn’t appear to have the richness of either the 2016 or 2018. [95 Points, Josh Raynolds – December 2019, vinous.com]