As Antoine slowly and methodically passes the torch to his two able sons, Antoine-Marie and Jean-Baptiste, he continues to make a few wines from his favorite parcels under his own label. I believe this will be the last dry white from the Carco vineyard bottled under Antoine’s name. Carco is made from Vermentino grown on the principal geological feature of Patrimonio, an enormous cresting wave of limestone that separates the village from the ocean. We here at KLWM don’t know of a better terroir for Vermentino anywhere in the world.
This grand dry white is produced from Châteauneuf’s best terroir, the plateau of La Crau. Seemingly more hospitable to a flowing river than to a plot of grape vines, this alluvial plain covered with large, rounded stones is the secret to the character and longevity of Vieux Télégraphe in both colors. A blend of Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Bourbelenc, and Roussanne, the Blanc is a wiry, stony, zesty southern Rhône white built to last. I recommend letting it lie for a few years in bottle before you begin to explore its charms.
Much as in Burgundy for whites, the 2015 vintage in Alsace offers the best of all worlds: concentration, acidity, and structure. Finding such balance is particularly difficult on the steep granite slopes of Sommerberg, where the vines react dramatically to minor changes in climate. The results always offer vivid clarity on the vintage’s characteristics. There is a lot of flesh on that stone in 2015. This is a shining example of why so many of the world’s greatest Rieslings are made on this side of the Rhine River!