The Right Wine: 2016 Vieux Telegraphe ‘Telegramme’ Chateauneuf du Pape
Varietal: 80% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 6% Mourvedre, 4% Cinsault
We absolutely love the wines of Chateauneuf du Pape and as the “Crown Jewel” of the southern Rhone Valley in France there is no more pedigreed and storied wine to be found anywhere. The roasted gentle rolling hills of Chateauneuf and the famous galet river stones that cover the ground make the famous vineyards look like an in-hospitable place that one would expect nothing to flourish it looks like 2016 is going to be the next great vintage in this storied region and it is already being compared to the great wines of 2010 and 1990. It is here that Grenache finds its most expressive and well recognized voice and Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe is without a doubt one of the most famous estates in this area. Since 1891, 6 generations the Brunier Family have farmed these slopes and crafted the wines and today we are very excited to offer out an incredible value that is a home run in every sense of the word!!! The 2016 Vieux Telegraphe ‘Telegramme’ Chateauneuf du Pape Rouge is a succulent, polished and wildly delicious red blend of 80% Grenache blended with Syrah, Mourvedre and Cinsault from the family vineyards across several plots in Chateauneuf that scored (89-91) points from Wine Advocate. The average age of these vines are in excess of 45 years now and all farming is done organically and by hand to ensure perfection in the vineyards. This wine is plush and pure, succulent and glassy smooth with a fresh, layered, spicy and wildly complex character that is simply stunning straight away and even now upon release this wine is nothing short of delicious but this wine is also one that will age and improve for the next decade which means this is a wine to buy by the case and enjoy for years to come. This wine usually sells for upwards of $50 but today we have got this classic red for $39 per bottle which makes this gorgeous red a perfect opportunity to snap up a wine that is loaded with the history and layered beauty of Vieux Telegraphe at about half the price of the regular Chateauneuf from this amazing estate…this wine is just delicious guys and is a must-buy for any fan of Chateauneuf without question!!! Game on…..
Vieux Telegraphe is without a doubt one of the most storied and famous estates in all of Chtaeauneuf du Pape. The estate was founded in 1891 when Henri Brunier gifted some land to his son Hippolyte on the plateau of La Crau. While this area in southeastern Chateauneuf is now arguably the most famous in those days the stony hillside area covered with river stones called galets was considered un-suitable for vines. He planted vines on this commanding plateau and later his son Jules expanded the estate to some 42 acres and called it Vieux Telegraphe as it was on this spot in 1821 the inventor of the optical telegraph had placed one of his original towers. Over the next hundred years the succeeding generations have expanded the holdings but after the ravages of World War II it was Henri, the fourth generation and second to bear his name, who inherited the task of rebuilding the estate and growing the winery’s marketplace. His shrewd business acumen and considerable talent in the winery led the estate to the very heights of fame and since the mid 1980’s his sons Frederic and Daniel have been at the helm and their sons, the 6th generation are now assisting them.
Vieux Telegraphe ‘Telegramme’ is a second wine that was created originally as an outlet for fruit from younger vines as sections of the multiple estate vineyards were replanted due to disease and expansion. Of course now the wine is in its second decade and the grapes that go into it are fully mature and the youngest vines actually come from the original La Crau vineyards but the overall average age of the vines is in excess of 45 years at this point with some being much older. The wine is dominated by Grenache with 80% of the blend being that grape with about 10% Syrah and smaller amounts of Mourvedre and Cinsault rounding out the rest. All farming is done organically and vineyard work and harvesting is done by hand with strict sorting done twice in the vineyards and a third pass at the sorting table when the fruit arrives at the winery. The wine is fermented traditionally in vats that are temperature controlled to extend the maceration to 25 to 30 days and extract plush, pure and vibrant fruit while building silky and supple tannin and a glassy smooth mouth-feel that allows the vivid red fruits and signature spice and garrigue notes to sing. The wine was aged for 10 months in vats before being transferred to large French oak foudres for an additional 7 months before bottling. Everything is done with the Telegramme to preserve the freshness and purity that is at the heart of great Chateauneuf du Pape but in a more accessible style that is easy to drink upon release and over the next 5 to 10 years.
The 2016 Vieux Telegraphe ‘Telegramme’ Chateauneuf du Pape is a vivid purple garnet red color in the glass. The nose is as fresh and pure as you will find with vivid red cherry, raspberry and spiced plum fruits leaping out to greet you with the first swirl. Macerated strawberry and hints of cracked pepper and stony mineral notes build with air as hints of herb, earth and lavender emerge in the first few minutes in the glass. In the mouth, this beauty shows the quality of the great 2016 vintage in its richness and depth; succulent dark cherry and plum with hints of currant and darker berry fill the mouth. The wine is juicy and vibrant and wonderfully expressive even now with the wine just arriving in the market and it is immediately apparent that this wine’s gorgeous exotic spice, earth and layered herb and anise notes will only open over the next few months and this beauty will drink wonderfully for the next 8 to 10 years. Spicy and taut with energy now, the fineness of the mouth-feel and the depth of fruit and layered spice is going to make any fan of great Chateauneuf du Pape very happy and at this price the wine is simply a steal!!
The 2016 Vieux Telegraphe ‘Telegramme’ Chateauneuf du Pape is one of those rare chances to purchase a classic wine from a classic producer that can be enjoyed right from the moment you get the bottles home but that will continue to evolve and develop for years to come…and all at a price that makes buying the wine by the case something anyone who loves Chateauneuf need to jump on before this classic vintage is snapped up. This wine usually sells for $49 per bottle but today we have got this 91 point stunner for just $39 which makes this a cellar selection from one of the great wineries in the world that you will enjoy from day one but that will improve and evolve for a decade. This wine is simply delicious and with the great 2016’s just starting to land this is a wine not to be missed. The first 5 cases are in the shop today so get your orders in before this gem is gone for good!
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