Profile: Vieux Telegraphe / Vignobles Brunier

[ Southern Rhone – France ]

Reviews & Tasting Notes

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Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe is one of the top producers of Chateauneuf du Pape and one of the great wine estates of France. Brothers Daniel and Frederic Brunier are talented and passionate vignerons who have built on a family wine legacy dating back to 1898. It was just before the turn of the century that Hippolyte Brunier established what is today the definitive grand cru vineyard of Chateauneuf du Pape on a high elevation and stony site called La Crau.

Violent and often harsh weather combine with rounded stones as far as the eye can see to create an environment which is hardly fertile or welcoming, but in these places where grape vines face the greatest stress, they also yield wines of extraordinary character, concentration and complexity. These factors, combined a century of family history working this challenging plot are the defining elements that make Vieux Telegraphe a legendary and sought after Chateauneuf du Pape.

This exposed, high altitude site also gave rise to the name Vieux Telgraphe (Old Telegraph), as La Crau was home to an original optical telegraph station that transmitted messages between Marseilles and Paris. What began as a small hectare or two of vineyard farmed by the founding Brunier, is today a nearly 150 acre single vineyard comprised mainly of Grenache. Small amounts of Syrah and Mourvedre round out the blend for the Vieux Telegraphe red, and tiny amounts of white wine are made from a blend of Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Roussanne and Picpoul.

The profile of the Vieux Telegraphe red has become something of a benchmark expression of vintage for this entire appellation, but front of mind with the Bruniers is a desire to produce balanced wines built to age. The Chateauneuf du Papes of Vieux Telegraphe are amongst the longest living and most cellar worthy wines made anywhere in the world.