2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, La Crau, Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe, Rhône

2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, La Crau, Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe, Rhône

Product: 20091118076
Prices start from £410.00 per case Buying options
2009 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, La Crau, Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe, Rhône

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Available by the case In Bond. Pricing excludes duty and VAT, which must be paid separately before delivery. Storage charges apply.
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Description

Grenache, Syrah, Cinsault and Clairette are blended here with a little extra Mourvèdre in deference to the quality of the vintage. The mouthfeel has something of the intensity of 2005, perhaps because of the additional Mourvèdre, but the overall impression is closer to the outstanding 2007: rounded, fine and long. Herbs and licorice, bay and spice, all vie for attention in this classic Vieux Télégraphe with enormous ageing potential.

Daniel Brunier is very happy with the quality of his 2009s; the conspiracy of nature was entirely benevolent with a cold winter, a cleansing Mistral and gentle rain all following the director’s script, followed by a hot August and good harvest conditions. He counsels patience, however, given the small thick-skinned berries. Their concomitant low yields and the resulting natural concentration make these wines for the long term. 2009 he sees as riper, richer and more impressive of colour than 2007. Praise indeed! The great vintages of 1990 and 1998 offer the closest comparison.

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Critics reviews

Jancis Robinson MW17/20
Relatively light but well balanced. Rather pretty and even delicate! But racy and definitely Chteauneuf. Great vitality with light tannins on the end. A thoroughly attractive drink. One might almost call it playful. Its just not that concentrated but the balance is great.
(Jancis Robinson MW , Julia Harding MW - jancisrobinson.com - 17 Nov 2010) Read more

About this WINE

Vieux Telegraphe

Vieux Telegraphe

Vieux Télégraphe is one of the most renowned estates in the Southern Rhône. Blessed with the finest locations in the area on the famed La Crau plateau, there is an emphasis on terroir expression and natural winemaking. The Bruniers, who own the property, started their love affair with La Crau in 1898 and on which they now own 70ha. This plateau – a Grand Cru equivalent in Châteauneuf-du-Pape – is so reputed for several reasons. Firstly, its galets roules (pudding stones) that re-emit the heat of the sun, producing a warm microclimate ideal for even berry ripening. Beneath these lies a subsoil of clay, which counters excess heat by keeping the vines hydrated and cool. Finally, at 120m altitude, it sits higher than surrounding areas. This brings exposure to wind (notably the Mistral), which again keeps the vines cool and free from diseases (and occasionally frost).

In 2021, the domaine was lucky to have been spared the worst of the flash frost that hit the region in April. Pallières was slightly impacted, but Piedlong and La Crau both emerged unscathed. The family did, nonetheless, see a moderate drop in yield due to the rains, with Vieux Télégraphe down by about 30%. Winemaker Daniel Brunier describes the vintage as classic, breaking the long series of “solaire” vintages we’ve seen since 2015. The wines show freshness but the slow and complete ripening brought about by a later-than-usual harvest brought with it concentration of flavours and balance. Daniel believes the wines will produce some wonderful surprises throughout the course of their ageing.

Alongside their Châteauneuf properties, the Brunier family owns Domaine des Pallières in Gigondas – a mixed farming estate set within the Provençal Forest. There they were not impacted by the rains (or indeed frost) in the same way. Daniel is extremely proud of the vintage. He describes the wines as pure, linear, with more moderate levels of alcohol and showing great sophistication and balance. He believes his Racines to be one of the best he has ever made.

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Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The most celebrated village of the Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the birthplace of the now indispensable French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée system – imperfect though it may be. Compared to the Northern Rhône, the vineyards here are relatively flat and often feature the iconic galet pebbles – the precise benefits of which are a source of much debate. Minimum alcohol levels required by the AOC are the highest in France, but at 12.5% it is well below the natural generosity of Grenache, which only achieves its full aromatic potential when it is fully ripe and laden with the resultant high sugars. Syrah and Mourvèdre contribute the other defining elements in the blend, adding pepper, savoury spice and structure to the decadent Grenache. There are a further 10 permitted red grape varieties which can be used to adjust the “seasoning”. Of the five white varieties permitted, it is Grenache Noir’s sibling – predictably perhaps – Grenache Blanc, which dominates, though Roussanne shows a great deal of promise when handled well, notably at Château de Beaucastel.

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Southern Rhône Blend

Southern Rhône Blend

The vast majority of wines from the Southern Rhône are blends. There are 5 main black varieties, although others are used and the most famous wine of the region, Châteauneuf du Pape, can be made from as many as 13 different varieties. Grenache is the most important grape in the southern Rhône - it contributes alcohol, warmth and gentle juicy fruit and is an ideal base wine in the blend. Plantings of Syrah in the southern Rhône have risen dramatically in the last decade and it is an increasingly important component in blends. It rarely attains the heights that it does in the North but adds colour, backbone, tannins and soft ripe fruit to the blend.

The much-maligned Carignan has been on the retreat recently but is still included in many blends - the best old vines can add colour, body and spicy fruits. Cinsault is also backtracking but, if yields are restricted, can produce moderately well-coloured wines adding pleasant-light fruit to red and rosé blends. Finally, Mourvèdre, a grape from Bandol on the Mediterranean coast, has recently become an increasingly significant component of Southern Rhône blends - it often struggles to ripen fully but can add acidity, ripe spicy berry fruits and hints of tobacco to blends.

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