2004 Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, La Crau, Rhone Red, France. (Magnum 1.5L)
Another surprise blessing, a chance to taste VT from magnum, and from a vintage that doesn’t get much praise, but is drinking lovely, especially this Brunier family classic, yes this is a wonderful expression of Chateauneuf and one if you have, you should pop sooner vs later. While 2004 doesn’t get much respect in the press or collector market there are certainly a few gems out there and they are bargains, so be sure to be savvy shoppers and look for Vieux Telegraphe, you can find this at below current release prices and it is a lovely and interesting wine with good detail, vivid flavors and respectable length and polish, in fact I adore this wine and tasting recently out of magnum (Oct. 2013) was a wonderful and pleasing experience. The 2004 starts with earthy Mourvedre notes leading the way with truffle, warm earth, grilled herbs, lavender and saddle leather with baked cherry, poached plum and red berry notes. The palate is medium weighted and the wine feels bright and fresh, almost crisp at first, then opens up and fills out, expanding in the mouth and persistent on the finish, but never gets big or heavy, there is layers of raspberry, briar, pepper, soy, a dusting of coco powder, meaty essence and more red currant fruit with touches of saline, licorice and fig. All in all this Chateauneuf du Pape shows an elegant side of the region, highlights the vintage and shows it’s pedigree and La Crau terroir in perfect order, drink now through 2020.
($180 Est. Magnum) 94 Points, grapelive