Performing considerably better than it did prior to bottling, the 2010 Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape is one of the all-time great Vieux Télégraphes I have tasted in the last 3+ decades. I believe it is even superior to the 2007, which I had several weeks ago. The 2010 boasts a dense purple color along with a sumptuous bouquet of spring flowers, boysenberries, black cherries, black currants, nori (the sushi seaweed wrapper), black olives, licorice and pepper. This full-bodied, meaty, thick, juicy effort possesses a boatload of tannin, but it also has incredible concentration. More massive than I remember from last year, it has put on considerable weight and intensity. Forget it for 3-4 years, and drink it over the following 25-30 years. Kudos to Daniel and Frederic Brunier! The Brunier family continues to turn out a beautiful array of wines, ranging from its value-priced Le Pigoulet and new entry called Megaphone, to their top-of-the-line, world-class Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape. The estate’s second wine, Telegramme, possesses one of the most innovative and charming labels in the wine world. This estate is somewhat unusual in that it has 135 acres of contiguous parcels in the famous La Crau sector of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. It has one of the most precocious terroirs in the appellation, and is often among the first estate’s to harvest because of La Crau’s microclimate. (RP)
The lightest in colour of the 2010 quartet, and a wine of outstanding aromatic complexity (bramble, strawberry, thyme, orange blossom, lavender and honey emerge with time in the glass). On the palate, it is the stoniest wine of the four, with the finest quality tannins: gathered, shapely, savoury, textured and long. A Châteauneuf which succeeds in being both commanding and refined, and a great Vieux Télégraphe. (AJ)
As good, if not better, than the stunning ’07, the 2010 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau is a knockout effort that will delight traditional Châteauneuf-du-Pape lovers. It’s ruby/semi-opaque color is followed by a sumptuous, savory bouquet of ground pepper, rolled stone and oyster shell like minerality, seaweed, and garrigue that’s anchored by a vibrant core of sweet red fruits. Full-bodied, textured, fresh, and with chewy, ripe tannin on the finish, this will not be a wine for instant gratification and needs a solid 5-6 years of bottle age; it should keep for upwards of three decades. 96+
Coated with unctuous linzer torte, warm plum sauce and pure cassis fruit flavors, while notes of maduro tobacco, mint, green fig and toasted anise flitter throughout. This is lush and dense, but well-harnessed through the finish, with a mouthwatering roasted apple wood note and lingering fresh acidity. *Collectibles* (JM)
Vivid ruby. Intense red fruit and floral aromas are complicated by notes of anise, allspice and minerals. Sappy and incisive on the palate, offering pliant raspberry and bitter cherry flavors and an exotic lavender pastille quality. Becomes livelier and spicier with air and finishes with supple tannins, outstanding clarity and noteworthy persistence. (JR)
La Crau, in the southeastern corner of Châteauneuf, is a high, galet-covered plateau where the Bruniers farm 173 acres. In 2010, their vines produced a decadent red with a fine-boned complexity. It feels perfectly ripe, cherry-red and firm, its succulence pointed up by the bright acidity. It also feels completely natural, with a fruity licorice spice, wildflower notes and ruddy earth tones adding details that seem to reference a particular place.
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