2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, La Crau, Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe, Rhône

2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, La Crau, Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe, Rhône

Product: 20151118076
Prices start from £250.00 per case Buying options
2015 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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The 2015 is a classic blend of 65 percent Grenache, 15 percent of both Mourvèdre and Syrah, plus five percent of a somewhat anonymous combination from the remainder of the appellation’s generous palette. It is immediately charming, with a perfume of garrigue and laurel, forest floor and eastern spice. The palate underlines the generosity of the vintage, with a lively black fruit charisma held in check by balancing natural acidity and ripe yet finely etched tannins. Symphonic in scope and ageing potential, this is an outstanding Vieux Télégraphe in every way and will sit proudly with all of its most prestigious forbears. Drink 2022-2030+.
Simon Field MW- Wine Buyer

Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe is one of the most renowned estates of the Southern Rhône, with around 45 hectares of vines, and an average vine age of 55 years. Blessed with one of the finest locations in the area, the particularly hot microclimate is such that the Bruniers, owners of the estate for almost a century, are able to harvest as much as a week ahead of their neighbours. Vieux Télégraphe's blend is a typical one, with Grenache accounting for around two thirds, while the rest is made up of Syrah and Mourvèdre in roughly equal proportions, plus a tiny bit of Cinsault. The Bruniers also run a radically different property in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, named Piedlong, and a very attractive property in the hills of Gigondas, Domaine les Pallières.

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Critics reviews

Josh Raynolds, Vinous92-94/100
Brilliant ruby-red. A fragrant nose evokes ripe red and dark berries, musky flowers, licorice and white pepper, and a smoky mineral overtone adds vivacity. Juicy and concentrated in the mouth, offering gently sweet cherry, cassis and floral pastille flavors that spread out steadily on the back half. Closes chewy, sweet and very long, with building tannins adding shape and grip. I really like the blend of structure and fruit here.
Josh Raynolds, vinous.com (Mar 2017)
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Wine Advocate94/100
The flagship wine, the 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape, is a blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Mourvdre, 15% Syrah and 5% other permitted varieties. It features delicate floral scents and ample cherry and licorice aromas. Somehow, it manages to be full-bodied and almost creamy in texture but without much weight, then it ends powerfully, with a flourish of rich Mexican chocolate on the long, silky finish. It should drink well for up to 20 years.
Joe Czerwinski - 31/10/2017 Read more
Wine Spectator95/100
This has a lovely, perfumy mix of savory, mint, tobacco, blood orange, cherry and bergamot notes all mixed together, carried by silky but ample structure before ending with a long, mineral- and shiso leaf–infused finish. Finely beaded acidity lets everything hang wonderfully. This should expand and cruise in the cellar. Best from 2020 through 2035. 13,500 cases made, 3,500 cases imported.
James Molesworth, Wine Spectator (December 2017)
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James Suckling96/100
A wine with playful, attractive character. An array of red, blue and purple fruits. Gently spicy, chalky and fragrant, it has a very supple, fleshy and layered palate with a web of fine, smooth and supple tannins. Extremely elegant and composed. A long draw on the finish. Great depth and drive. This will live super long. Try after 2020.
James Suckling, jamessuckling.com (January 2018) Read more
Jeb Dunnuck93/100
The lighter ruby colored 2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape comes, as always, from the oldest vines of the estate on la Crau. It offers lots of kirsch and black raspberry notes, tons of salty minerality, medium to full-bodied richness and fine, fine tannin. Elegant and silky, with impressive balance, it's not the most concentrated wine from this first-rate estate, but it shines for its purity, finesse, and elegance.
Jeb Dunnuck, JebDunnuck.com (October 2017)
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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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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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