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Heavy rains late in the 2002 growing season, rare for the normally dry and hot southern Rhône, left many growers fearing their crop would be diluted by the water. Assessing the quality of the fruit throughout harvest and vinification made it clear to brothers Daniel and Frédéric Brunier of Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe that the vintage would give a much lighter wine, lacking the color, power, and concentration that had come to typify their Châteauneuf-du-Pape. They decided to create a second label, and so the Télégramme was born. The wine was an instant success: consumers relished the wine’s soft tannins and utter drinkability. It became a staple of the Brunier portfolio, as they continued to produce it from the younger vines, about 80% Grenache, on the stony plateau of La Crau. While the sunny 2015 vintage bears little resemblance to 2002, this wine has all the perfume, plush fruit, and ethereal structure to please right away.
|Blend:||90% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre|
|Producer:||Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe|
|Winemaker:||Frédéric & Daniel Brunier|
|Soil:||Alluvial deposits, Limestone, Silica, and Molasse (red clay) with galets roulés|
Every three or four months I would send my clients a cheaply made list of my inventory, but it began to dawn on me that business did not pick up afterwards. It occurred to me that my clientele might not know what Château Grillet is, either. One month in 1974 I had an especially esoteric collection of wines arriving, so I decided to put a short explanation about each wine into my price list, to try and let my clients know what to expect when they uncorked a bottle. The day after I mailed that brochure, people showed up at the shop, and that is how these little propaganda pieces for fine wine were born.—Kermit Lynch