Home / Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe, Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2019
Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe, Chateauneuf-du-Pape Blanc 2019
Clairette, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, Bourboulenc
One of my favourite whites from the south of France is Daniel Brunier`s Chateaneuf du Pape Blanc and his 2019 is another stunning effort. Always a blend of Clairette, Roussanne, Grenache Blanc, and Bourboulenc brought up in foudre, this beauty boasts and exotic nose of honeyed peach, quince, crushed citrus, and salty minerality, all with a floral edge. Medium to full-bodied on the palate with flawless balance and beautifully integrate acidity, enjoy this concentrated white anytime over the coming 15-20 years. 95 points. Jeb Dunnock (95)
The location is the stony Plateau de la Crau, in the south-east of the appellation, where the villages of Bédarrides, Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Couthézon meet. Soil and subsoil are made up from molasse from the Miocene epoch (1-1.5m in depth) sitting on a thick layer of clay with a high stone content, and covered by the pebble blanket of Alpine diluvium generally known as “galets roulés”. Vine are 45 years on average. VINIFICATION: grapes are hand-picked, with double sorting at the vine, then a third sorting in the winery. Pneumatic pressing, then static settling. Fermented in barriques, demi-muids and 30 hl foudres. MATURATION: on the lees in barriques, demi-muids and 30 hl foudres. Bottled at 1 year.
One cannot think of Chateauneuf-du-Pape, the most celebrated cru of the southern Rhone, without thinking of Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe. The Brunier family is legendary in its own right, having been rooted to the enigmatic plateau known as La Crau for over one hundred years. The wines of Vieux Telegraphe evoke the concept of terroir in its purest form: they reflect their dramatic climate, the rough terrain that defines the soil, their full sun exposure at a higher altitude, the typicity of the varietals with an emphasis on Grenache, and of course, the influence of their caretakers, the Brunier family. For many, La Crau is Chateauneuf-du-Pape’s grandest cru.
After years of closer study, La Crau proved to be a privileged vineyard site. At the extreme southeast of the appellation, a large three-meter trench in the vineyard reveals its stratifications, millions of years in the making. The layers show early alluvial deposits, limestone, silica, and a robust red clay (known as molasse) that has come to characterize this terrain. Sitting on the surface of the soil, the galets hold important functions: they insulate the vines from both the cold and the heat, and they provide ideal drainage for the roots. Henri retired in 1988 and left the Domaine in the hands of his two sons, Daniel and Frederic.
The Brunier brothers have significantly expanded the family’s holdings on La Crau to seventy hectares, and have boldly expanded their winemaking ventures into new territory. They created the second label for Vieux Telegraphe known as “Telegramme,” purchased Domaine La Roquete in Chateauneuf, and Domaine Les Pallieres in Gigondas. The wines of V.T. are classic, displaying strength, rusticity, earthiness, and tremendous longevity. The final assemblage consists solely of old-vine fruit from La Crau, imparting incredible depth, concentration, and a filtered-through-stones minerality that provides excellent freshness. The greatness of the domaine is just as much a tribute to the Bruniers as it is to La Crau—they have the ability to make great wine even in difficult vintages. Their goal is to find a harmony between aromatic complexity, tannic structure, and richness, which they achieve year after year.
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