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November 18, 2014

Vieux Telegraphe 2013

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Following on from our 2010 Vieux Telegraphe offer we are delighted to be able to present the new 2013 vintage, currently offered at a very healthy discount, en primeur. The price of £165 a case of six bottles, or £27.50 per bottle offers a 39% discount to the current trading price of similarly scoring 2012 vintage. Moreover, the average current trading price of any Vieux Telegrpahe in the last five years is £210. It pays to purchase Vieux Telegraphe en primeur, particularly as collectors only have to wait ten months before the wine becomes physical in September 2015. In fact this is truly remarkable value for one of the leading lights of Chateauneuf du Pape, where else can you find one of the world’s leading wines for under £30 a bottle?

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The 2013 vintage in the Chateauneuf du Pape was saved from many of the climatic issues that tormented other regions in France, the region perennially experiences warm weather. The vintage was marked by late maturity, one of the latest harvests in 25 years. Yields were low, as was production and as a result quality is good, as such the market expects demand to be high. Vieux Telegraphe have made a structured and hugely appealing wine scoring an initial 91-93 points from barrel. It is axiomatic of Vieux Telegraphe that it requires a few years in barrel, where it puts on weight, intensity and complexity. As such it generally gets marked up out of bottle, the highest scoring vintage in the last ten years, the 2010, was marked up from 91-94 to 97 from bottle. All considered the 2013 is incredible value for £33 duty and VAT included, it will enter its drinking window next year and then improve in bottle until 2030, it truly represents immense value vs. quality.
Vieux Telegraphe’s Greatness
It is hard to dispute that Vieux Telegraphe is one of the greatest wines from the Rhone - or in fact across the entire globe – and its rich history matches this. The Brunier family have been producing wines in Chateauneuf du Pape for over 100 years, founded by Hippolyte Brunier the great-grandfather of the current guardians. He chose to name the wine after a signal tower built in 1793 by Claude Chappe, who was the inventor of the optical telegraph. The first vintage was made in 1900.

Vieux Telegraphe produces four wines from their 65 hectares; however, the best come from the very old vines in the ‘La Crau’ plot, which is now shown on the label. The best section is densely populated with large and small stones known as ‘galets’ several inches across which retain heat very well and reflect it up onto the vines during both day and night. It is here that their prestige wine Vieux Telegraphe is made from fruit derived from the oldest vines. This great wine evokes the conception of this region’s terroir in its purest form, a combination of the climate and extraordinary terrain and soil, while the vineyard’s high altitude gets full exposure from the sun.

The exceptional Vieux Telegraphe is typically a blend of 65% Grenache, 15% Mourvedre, 10% Cinsault and 10% Syrah. The grapes are hand harvested and moved by gravity flow to the vatting room, where they ferment the incredibly concentrated and ripe fruit and age it in cement for ten months, followed by 12 months in 50-70hl oak ‘foudres’. Vieux Telegraphe on average produces 16,000 cases a year.

Vieux Telegraphe 2013
6×75 - £165 EP or £212.76 incl duty and VAT 
12×75 - £330 EP  or £425.52 incl duty and VAT 

Jeb Dunnuck, Wine Advocate 91-93 points
The top cuvee is the 2013 Châteauneuf du Pape, and it’s always a rough blend of 65% Grenache (mostly not destemmed), 15% each of Syrah and Mourvedre, and the rest Cinsault and other permitted varieties. Aged all in foudre, it offers classic rolled-stone-like minerality, spice, licorice and dark fruits to go with medium-bodied richness and depth, integrated acidity and fine tannin. This will be a classic Châteauneuf du Pape that will evolve nicely for 10-15 years. Drink 2015-2028

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