2017 Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape La Crau

Year: 2017
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Advocate: 92-94
James Suckling: 96
Jeb Dunnuck: 95
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.5%
Price :
$84.95

"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.

The quality and consistency of the wines here largely speak for themselves. While the focus has always been on producing high-quality wines, what that means has been refined over the years, with an increasing emphasis on terroir expression and inherent elegance. Introduced in 2011, the Piedlong bottling reflects this, coming almost entirely from that lieu-dit. Unfortunately, those Grenache vines didn't fare well under the mildew onslaught in 2018, and there's no 2018 Piedlong. Such are the perils of a terroir-based approach." (WA)

"Immediately a sense of darker fruit in this vintage. The nose has closed up a little since tasting in barrel. It has some reserved, sanguine notes and an essence-like, raspberry core. Some stones and chalk here, too. Very long and focused palate. The grenache is singing here. Dense but soft and supple tannins, the product of thick, healthy skins. Best from 2025." (JS)

"As always, the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape sees a small amount of stems, and the blend is 60% Grenache, 15% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre, and the rest an assortment of varieties. Red currants, lavender, salty minerality, nori, and plenty of peppery garrigue notes emerge from the glass. It's medium to full-bodied, has the sunny, sexy style of the vintage, yet also builds nicely on the palate, with ripe yet present tannins. It's going to require 4-5 years of bottle age to hit price time, but it will keep for two decades.

In the Brunier family since 1898, Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe lies on the eastern edge of Châteauneuf du Pape and covers 60 hectares of some of the finest terroir out there, the famed la Crau plateau. Looking at the winemaking, the estate has destemmed all their grapes since 1989 and the wines see all native ferments, with no temperature control, and aging all in older foudre. In addition, due to the recent completion of a new state of the art winery, the grapes are now moved only by gravity. While 2016 was an incredible vintage for this estate, they’ve produced brilliant wines in both 2017 and 2018. Lovers of elegant, classical Châteauneuf du Pape, both red and white, can’t wrong with this estate." (JD)

Winery Notes:
From over 150 acres of vineyard land in the La Crau district of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the Brunier brothers make one of the worlds best known wines. Vieux Telegraphe does not make a range of different bottlings and cuvees. They make 2 wines, a white and red, and all of their effort and their best grapes go into these 2 wines. The Domaine has been producing wine since 1895.