2008 Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe "La Crau" Châteauneuf-du-Pape
Still tight, with the core of cherry and red currant fruit held in check by a mix of lightly firm sandalwood, spice, licorice root and warm stone flavors. Mulled fig and cocoa notes check in on the grippy finish. A rare backward style 2008 that will need some cellaring to round into form. Best from 2013 through 2020.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright ruby. Lively, musky aromas of red berries, cherry, anise, earth and spices, augmented by hints of lavender and resin. Energetic, focused redcurrant and bitter cherry flavors show good definition and pick up minerality with air. Taut on the back end, finishing with solid grip and very good, tangy persistence. I like this wine's vivacity and balance.
Producer notes, courtesy RJonWine.com: "Hippolyte Brunier first planted grapes on the La Crau plateau, near where the old telegraph tower and relay station had stood, in 1898. The vineyard now amounts to 63 hectares, with an average vine age of 50 years, on a south-facing terrace of clay and limestone soil, covered with smooth, heat-reflecting stones. Hippolyte’s son Jules built a winery on the plain and named it Vieux Télégraphe after the old tower. Jules's son Henri revitalized the property in the 60s and 70s, expanded its vineyards, and turned Vieux Télégraphe into one of the leading Chateauneuf domaines before passing it on to his sons, Daniel and Frédéric, in 1988. In 1994, the domaine finally honored the plain on which all of the vineyards are planted by adding 'La Crau' to the label." (9/2010)