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The wines of Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe
Vignobles Brunier, BP5, 84370 Bédarrides, France
Phone: +33 (0)4 90 33 00 31 Fax: +33 (0)4 90 33 18 47

One of the famous names of Chateuneuf du Pape, the Vieux Télégraphe estate consists of some 70 ha of vines, with 65 ha of red grapes (60% Grenache, 15% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre, 10% others) and 5 ha of white (30% Grenache Blanc, 40% Clairette, 15% Rousanne, 15% Bourboulenc). The Bruniers actually own three estates, and tend to show these together, as Daniel Brunier did here. The second estate is also in Châteauneuf, La Roquette, and is a very good performer in its own right -- people sometimes mistakenly think this is a second label. The third estate is a recent addition to the portfolio: in 1998 they acquired one of the most traditional and well situated estates in Gigondas, Domaine Les Pallières. Although the Bruniers vinified the 1998 vintage, the 1999 tasted here was the first vintage for which they had complete control of both the viticulture and the winemaking. It will be interesting to see what happens here in the next few years.

Le Pigeoulet Rouge 2000, Vin de Pays de Vacluse
Nicely packaged. Bright red/purple with an attractive nose of slightly herby, spicy red berry fruit. Delicious medium-bodied meaty/savoury palate with some spiciness on the finish. A tasty glugging wine and good value at about £6-£7. Very good+

Domaine Les Pallières Gigondas 1999
The first fully Brunier-controlled vintage at this newly acquired property. Deep coloured. The nose is quite muted, with some herb and spice notes. Palate is chunky and tannic and still quite closed, so it's difficult to assess. I reckon this will develop a bit, though. Very good

La Roquette Rouge 1999 Châteauneuf du Pape
A deep red/purple colour. There's a touch of sweet herby fruit on the nose, which is currently a little closed. The rich, dense palate shows deep, spicy red berry fruit with some herby complexity. Very youthful, but there's lots happening here. It's an expressive, chunky wine with a lot of potential. Very good/excellent

Clos La Roquette Blanc 2000 Châteauneuf du Pape
A blend of Roussanne, Clairette and Grenache Blanc. Touch of herby, waxy fruit on the nose. Full flavoured and crisp on the palate, with good intensity. A modern style. Very good

Vieux Télégraphe Rouge 1999 Châteauneuf du Pape
A wine that lives up to this estate's considerable reputation. Deep coloured with a brooding nose showing intense spicy fruit with some herbs and menthol -- still a touch closed though. Concentrated, chunky, classic palate with lots of spicy character. It's tannic, aggressive, and a bit tight at the moment, but has super potential for ageing: don't open for a decade or so. Excellent

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