Châteauneuf Du Pape Vieux Télégraphe 'La Crau' 1999
'Very sweet and thick and dense. With some quite dry tannins and lots of alcohol. A little rustic 17/20.' Jancis Robinson 16/10/2010
Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe does indeed derive its name from an old telegraph station, one which was once sited on the hill where this Châteauneuf domaine now stands.
The Vieux Télégraphe vineyards are unusual in that they lie in a single block, on the La Crau plateau, today covering an area of 70 hectares. The ground is covered by the galets roules, the large rounded stones which originated in the Alps to the east, and were transported down to lower lands by the action of floodwaters. They are classically associated with the vineyards of Châteauneuf du Pape, although they can also be found in other areas across the south of France. Beneath these stones there is a more organic soil, up to 1.5 metres deep, a molasse deposited here during the Miocene era, and then deeper again there is a red clay. The vines average an impressive 50 years of age, with a significant proportion old enough to draw their pension at 65 years.