Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe

Châteauneuf-duPape from BrunierA recent Southern Rhône tasting we organised for a famous bank’s staff Wine Society included a mini vertical of 3 mature vintages from Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe. All three of them showed great family resemblance beyond vintage differences, which we took as a great testament to the respect of the fruit and the terroir at this estate.

The domaine, which is under the ownership of the Brunier family is considered the jewel in their crown . The vines have an average age of 50 years, and are planted on the Plateau de Crau in the south east of the Châteauneuf appellation. Taking its name from the signal tower built here in 1792 for the optical telegraph, this grenache-dominant wine with some Mourvèdre, Cinsault and other permitted Châteauneuf varietals used in the blend is as traditional in its style as Châteauneuf gets. The Bruniers employ traditional winemaking methods, ageing the wine in foudres for eight to 12 months after nine months in concrete vats, then bottle the wines without filtering. These superb wines are rich, elegant and beautifully balanced, and display flavours that are much more opened, perfumed and savoury than the more modern (and often also excellent in their own way) modern styles of Châteauneuf with their deep, pure and intense fruit style. The Bruniers believe in the creation of “vins de terroir, not recipe wines; wines for the table rather than for tasting”.

The fantastic run of vintages enjoyed by the Rhône (since 1998, only 2002 has been poor, everything else has been good to fabulous) means there is plenty of excellent wines available on the market. This means that there is no reason for prices to rise too much, and these mature Vieux Télégraphe vintages can be picked up for great prices – definitely a wine to stock up on as we approach the winter months.

You can see our current selection of Vieux Télégraphe here.

Ludovic Surina & Will Hepworth

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