Tag Archives: Vieux-Telegraphe

Are you Rhonesome, tonight? (Rhone Valley, France – Day Two)

There are so many differences between the Northern and Southern Rhone Valleys that they should almost be called completely different names. Almost the only thing in common as I mentioned in my last post, is the fact that the four varieties grown in the north are also grown in the south. The Northern Rhone is a much more narrow and elevated valley than in the south, which opens up into wide plains with rolling hills rather than steep cliffs. This type of land actually reminds me of the way the Adige River flows south from Austria through the Italian Alto Adige and Trentino regions into Veneto. Secondly the amount of vineyards in the Northern Rhone is 3,000 hectares, which is the same amount as Chateauneuf-du-Pape alone, one single appellation of almost ten in the Southern Rhone. Thirdly the general approach for the Southern Rhone is for volume rather than quality, particularly for the Cotes-du-Rhone appellation, and there are only a few which go for quality above all else. In the Northern Rhone there is really only one appellation of eight that is more geared towards volume and compared to the Southern Rhone would be considered one of the quality appelations. In the Southern Rhone there is significantly more wine blended between areas than in the Northern Rhone, not to mention a great many more varieties blended, whereas in the north they really only use four and never blend more than two together. Probably the biggest difference is the amount of wine produced by cooperatives, much of which is sold to negociants within the Rhone Valley or outside of it and then bottled by someone else. Very rarely does wine get sold in bulk in the north; it is either sold as grapes or bottled wine. The first appointment I had for today was a negociant producer owning no vineyards (Tardieu-Laurent), and the other was the opposite, only producing wine from their vineyards in the Southern Rhone Valley (Vieux-Telegraphe).

Different sizes of barrels used to mature wine

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Vieux-Telegraphe – 22/05/2012

Clos La Roquette CT9 Blanc 2011
Rich phenolic nose, floral ripe peach, apple pear and lees notes. On the palate very light, clean and balanced, some late fruit sweetness and very subtle oak texture and complexity.

Vieux-Telegraphe CT9 Blanc 2010
Concentrated reductive yet rich nose, crushed floral perfume, guava and pear, with some lees derived nutty cheese elements. Very lively yet fat and rich texture, masculine full oaky style, well-blended but very young with great ageing potential.

Les Pallieres Terrasse du Diable Gigondas 2009
Liquorice raspberry floral fruit sweet smokiness with some subtle aromas of asparagus. Concentrated dark fruits, chocolate subtlety and fruit sweetness, stalky savoury elements with some smoky flavours as well.

Les Pallieres Les Racines Gigondas 2009
More brazen in style, raisin and caramel notes, toastier and more robust aromatically. Light and clean on the palate but with more depth, darker fruit and oak sweetness, intense spice, a more serious wine.

Clos La Roquette CT9 Rouge 2009
Light in colour, fresh clean, delicate floral and fruit elements aromatically. Good integration on the palate, full-flavoured yet soft and rich, opulent red fruits with some carob notes and also fresh acidity.

Vieux-Telegraphe CT9 Rouge 2009 (65% grenache)
Intense ruby brick red colour, closed delicate red liquorice with spice, chocolate and black fruits on the nose. Quite dense, more brooding in structure and masculine in style, smooth yet dark and bold tannins.

Vieux-Telegraphe CT9 Rouge 2001
Aromatically closed at the moment, salted chocolate and caramel, subtle red currants and raisins, smoky meat and truffle complexity. Supple yet dense tannins, not particularly expressive, very subtle mature mint notes. Hard to tell if this wine is just shut down or peaking a little bit.

Vieux-Telegraphe wooden case
Click here to read about my visit to the winery

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