Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Vieux Telegraphe Current Releases

My tasting at Vieux Telegraphe was one of the highlights of my 'Tour de France' last year. Now Daniel Brunier, one of the two owner brothers, has come to Sydney to show his latest releases.

This tasting confirms why I like these wines so much. Half the wines were from 2013, which was not a great vintage due to the cold conditions. Yet there is a style to these wines which cuts across the different terroir, as well as different years. All red wines are Grenache dominated, yet the emphasis is not on fruit. It is on earth, minerality, vibrancy, balance, and a line leading to a smooth and satisfying finish. These wines have a personal signature.

The two Chateauneuf-du-Pape wines from 2013 are the Telegramme and the Vieux Telegraphe, the flagship wine. They both come from the famous stony plateau of Le Crau, where they own about 70 hectares, a huge holding for the area. The Telegramme is of young vines, on average 20 years old. It is a fresh and savoury wine (92 points), which beat its famous sibling this year. It seems the grapes of the old vines did not fully ripen, which can be a problem for Grenache. The Vieux Telegraphe is earthy, and a bit rough, not fully rounded (91 points).

The star of the tasting was the 2012 Domaine La Roquete Piedlong Chateuneuf-du-Pape, from a property further west. This wine was fragrant, very fine, savoury and very, very elegant. The wine was long on the palate, floating along with vibrancy and sheer drinkability (95 points).

Danielle Brunier makes two wines from the Gigondas. The 2013 Terrasse du Diable comes from a vineyard at 300-400 meters altitude. It had cherry and raspberry flavours, but suffered in a similar way to the Vieux Telegraphe (90 points). In contrast, the 2013 Les Racines is based on old vines. It is more intense and delivered a savoury, yet elegant profile with a long finish. A remarkable wine for this vintage (94 points).

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