The trademark, old-vine-grenache offering of earthy notes with wild berries, herbs, flowers and spices. Wild. Hints of blood oranges and pink-grapefruit peel. Superb, expansive palate shape, all finesse and length. Super-fine, focused and elegant. Refined, regal and majestic. Peppery, bright, wild, red fruit, blood oranges and orange bitters. Decades ahead of this. Drink or hold.
Still yet to be bottled, the 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape Piedlong is 90% Grenache (from the Piedlong lieu-dit) and 10% Mourvèdre. It offers mouthwatering elements of cherries and raspberries, rose petals and black tea. Silky, lacy and delicate in texture for such a full-bodied wine, it's immediately charming and seductive. (JC)
Always brought up in foudre, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Piedlong comes from the pebbly soils of the Piélong lieu-dit located in the heart of the appellation. Incorporating 10% Mourvèdre, its medium ruby color is followed by a complex, layered, beautifully Grenache that has lots of savory red fruits, dried strawberries, dried earth, spice, and licorice aromas and flavors. It's medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced, and long. Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe is one of the old-guard estates in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and the Brunier brothers continue to make a classic, ageworthy, and uncompromising style of wine that requires bottle age. The estate is in the eastern portion of the appellation and has a whopping 150 acres of prime terroir, almost all located in the famed La Crau lieu-dit, which is one of the warmer, earlier terroirs in the region. In addition to their reds, they also make a brilliant white. I’ve also included the La Roquete releases here, which are also made by this team.
Deep bright-hued ruby. Expansive, mineral-accented raspberry and cherry scents are complicated by hints of garrigue and candied lavender. Broad and chewy on entry, offering bitter cherry and red fruit preserve flavors that tighten up steadily on the back half. Concentrated but lively as well, showing excellent clarity and spicy thrust on the extremely persistent, youthfully tannic finish. This must be the best wine I've yet had from this property, which was formerly known as Domaine La Roquète and has been owned by the Brunier family (of Vieux Télégraphe fame) since 1986. (JR)
The Brunier brothers, who run Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe, also work with vineyards they acquired with the purchase of Domaine de la Roquète in 1986. This wine comes from two lieux-dit: a parcel of 70-year-old grenache growing in Piedlong, at the highest point in Châteauneuf-du-Pape, and a plot in Pignan, which provides a small amount of old-vine mourvèdre. It’s extraordinarily elegant for a Châteauneuf-du-Pape, with scents of laurel and rose lifting its red-cherry flavor. Fermented and aged for a year in cement tanks, then finished with a year in foudres, the wine has pure and precise flavors carried on silky-smooth tannins—inviting now, and well suited to aging.
50% destemmed fruit. This has an attractive floral nose, very fresh and expressive. Some spicy hints coming through too. Full-bodied, rich and generous on the palate, with some distinct sweetness to the strawberry fruit and a long, fine finish. Slightly raised alcohol, but great finesse. Very fine tannins and a tapered finish. Their best to date. Drinking Window 2018 - 2026. (MW)
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