“It might just be the greatest wine from this estate to date”: 2016 Vieux Télégraphe La Crau

Posted on: 05/23/18 2:29 PM

vieux telegraphe

By now, we have hammered home just how special 2016 is in Châteauneuf-du-Pape. To say that Vieux Télégraphe is a sine-qua-non if you are a buyer in the category is an understatement. This legendary house, brought to prominence by the inimitable Kermit Lynch, has been a cellar staple for decades. Having visited the Domaine several times, I can attest to the fact that the Brunier family is among the best of the region’s top performers; after visiting in January, I can also say that the 2016s are truly special.

Long, intense, balanced, fine and yet powerful, this is a profound vintage in Châteauneuf, and may be the greatest in the past 20-30 years.

I fear overhyping this estate in this vintage, as I am fairly confident we will outsell our supply. Ift goes without saying: buy these wines. It’s really that simple.

2017 Vieux Télégraphe Chateauneuf-Du-Pape Blanc ‘La Crau’

2016 Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge ‘La Crau’

Jeb Dunnuck: “Moving to the grand vin, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is backward and dense, with a huge mid-palate, notes of framboise, black cherries, roasted herbs, nori, and spice, a thick, opulent texture, and yet no sense of weight or heaviness. With ripe, polished tannin and a blockbuster finish, it might just be the greatest wine from this estate to date.” 96-98 pts.

More about the Wine:

Kermit Lynch put it best, and simply: “One cannot think of Châteauneuf-du-Pape, the most celebrated cru of the southern Rhône, without thinking of Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe.” Indeed.

The Brunier family has been inextricably linked to this remarkable appellation for well over a century. The secret, beyond careful, focused and painstaking care in the vines and the cellar, is the terroir of the plateau of La Crau, the highest point in the appellation and blessed with an unusual quantity of Châteauneuf’s celebrated galet or “puddingstone” topsoil – large, round potato-like rocks.

In every vintage, Vieux Télégraphe is a must buy, but 2015 – and 2016, I might add – are special. Ripe, concentrated and with great structure to go the distance both are vintages every collector will want to revisit for the next several decades.

I’ll close with another quote from Kermit regarding this very special place in Southern France: “I haven’t retired there, but I could.”

Posted in Daily Flash By Ian Halbert