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Vieux Télégraphe 2019

by Dixon Brooke

<em>Galets roulés</em> at Vieux Télégraphe
<em>Galets roulés</em> at Vieux Télégraphe

The rounded riverbed stones, or galets roulés, of Vieux Télégraphe are an image indelibly etched into the mind of every member of the KLWM team. It is such a striking landscape, and Gail Skoff has snapped many iconic images of the famed terroir over the years. I couldn’t believe our good fortune when she unearthed from her extensive archives the roll of film gracing the cover of our brochure this month: Kermit, Henri Brunier, and Henri’s son Frédéric, circa 1986, proudly and merrily posing among the vines on the plateau of La Crau in Châteauneuf-du-Pape that produces one of the most quintessential wines we import.
      This special plot of land has delivered us many unforgettable “VTs” over the years, and the recently arrived 2019 vintage is showing itself to be not only a distinguished and confident ambassador of its storied lineage, but also a tour de force with the panache to stand among the all-time greats. The domaine’s old vines in the terroir of La Crau produce some of the most exciting Grenache in the world, and the select blending of their other native grapes, along with a long, patient aging process in large, oval foudre casks, produces the magic of Vieux Télégraphe. The Brunier family created one of the most memorable VTs of my career in the 1989 vintage, and thirty years later the 2019 seems poised to follow a similar arc of development.

(From July 1991)

BURSTING AT THE SEAMS. That is the phrase that kept coming to mind as I tasted the 1989 Vieux Télégraphe. This is one of the larger wines produced by Vieux Télégraphe. It is built to last and built to please with a solid framework of tannin and alcohol. Yet as impressive as that foundation is, there is something that grabs your attention even more, a huge perfume that you can really feel trying to break free. Even that mighty 1989 structure can barely contain it, and with the passage of time that stoney, ripe perfume is going to intensify and swell until it does burst out to our grateful applause.

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