Châteauneuf Du Pape Vieux Télégraphe 'La Crau' 2006
Very grippy style, with lots of sweet tapenade, tobacco, hot stone and braised chestnut notes weaving through a core of dark currant and fig fruit. There's a nice twinge of lavender on the structured finish. For the cellar. Best from 2010 through 2028. 92+ points Robert Parker. This very elegant wine is already putting on a seductive show. Finishes smooth, juicy and very long. This venerable estate, long run by the Brunier family, is a consistent source for fabulous wines.
In an earlier review from Robert Parker (90-93 points): "The 2006 Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf du Pape, which is aged only in foudre and bottled with minimal clarification, is a more masculine, muscular effort than most 2006s."
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.