Vieux Telegraph is one of the revered addresses of the Southern Rhone. Founded by the Brunier Family in 1898, their work in the appellation has been significant as one of the measuring sticks for CDP and still family operated by the fifth and sixth-generation Bruniers. The main reason why their CDP excels is the prestigious area in which the grapes are sourced, lying on the plateau of La Crau in the southeast of the appellation. La Crau is considered one of the most excellent vineyards in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, comprised of alluvial deposits, limestone, silica, and a rich red clay known locally as molasse covered with a sea of large rounded rocks called galet. Vieux Télégraphe owns whopping 70 hectares of La Crau, which is more than half of the total surface area of the vineyard with vines with an average age of 70 years old!
The blend for Le Crau is 65% Grenache, 15% Mourvèdre, 15% Syrah, 5% Cinsault, and potentially minuscule amounts of the other legally allowed varietals. Grapes are hand-harvested and sorted twice in the vineyard before arriving at the Domaine, where it goes through a third sorting to ensure that only the best grapes are used. There is a partial destemming before a very light crushing and a traditional 30-40 day fermentation and maceration. 2019 is a contender for the wine of the vintage ranking as one of the best in the domaines history. One of the top buys of the vintage for Châteauneuf-du-Pape, 2019 from Vieux Télégraphe is not to be missed.
Wine Advocate ( Jos Czerwinski) 96+ The 2019 Chateauneuf du Pape La Crau is a hugely successful vintage, marked by scents of sun-warmed stones, garrigue, black cherries and black olives. Full-bodied, rich and velvety, it finishes with tremendous length and softly dusty tannins, which should help ensure a long, positive evolution.
Jeb Dunnuck 96-98 points! "Looking at the flagship 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape from this benchmark estate, it reveals a denser ruby/purple color as well as stunning notes of smoked red and black fruits, crushed rocks, peppery garrigue, and truffly earth. Hitting the palate with full-bodied richness, it stays tight and compact on the palate, with terrific mid-palate depth, a focused, structured mouthfeel, and one great finish. This is a brilliant Châteauneuf du Pape from the Brunier family that’s going to benefit from upwards of 5-7 years of bottle age and have 30+ years of overall longevity."
Vinous (Josh Raynolds) 95 points! "Saturated ruby. Deep-pitched red/blue fruit liqueur aromas pick up suggestions of licorice, pipe tobacco and pungent flowers and herbs with air. In a lush, weighty style, offering expansive black raspberry, cherry cola, singed plum and fruitcake flavors sharpened by a jolt of spiciness on the back half. For all this wine's richness, it's energetic as well, showing solid, spice- and floral-driven persistence on the finish, which is framed by velvety, even tannins."