Sunday, 30 August 2009

A lovely Chateauneuf-du-Pape - Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe 1994

I am not exactly known amongst my wine geek friends for my love of Chateauneuf, but I do drink the odd one now and then, for personal pleasure - if its a good 'un, of course! I love Clos des Papes and Les Cailloux (we tasted a stunning 1983 at Nottingham Wine Circle on Wednesday), whilst Vieux Télégraphe has always been one of my favourites. So, inspired by that wonderful '83 Les Cailloux, I decided last night was the night for a C9P fix, with a bottle of Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe 1994.

And what a lovely drop it proved to be. A bit of stinky brett on opening, but a quick double-decant and it soon blew off to reveal just the right blend of fruit and savoury, with a touch of acidity and some typically rustic (but softening) tannin. The thing I don't like about many Chateauneufs is that they often have just too much savouriness for my nose and palate, but this one - as so often with Vieux Télégraphe - has plenty of that crystallised fruit quality that I love. Raspberry and blackcurrant fruit pastilles are what come to mind, with just enough blood and beef and earthiness to balance the fruit with the savoury. If I'm being hyper-critical, there is perhaps just a touch too much alcoholic heat (rather than warmth) on the finish, but it is a lovely wine nonetheless, and went brilliantly with rib steak.

A nice wine, which makes me look forward even more to taking delivery of my allocation of 5 cases of André Brunel's Domaine Les Cailloux 2007, in a month or two. I will be sorely tempted to keep a case aside for my own enjoyment, so that means 4 cases left for my customers! ;-) It will be a bargain, too, at around £25 per bottle. If you'd like some, let me know, as I don't expect it to hang around for too long.

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