I generally dislike older wines, the dried out quality, the tobacco and spice box notes but I didn't find any of that here. Instead, fresh cherry, leather and good zing. I went back and tried this 3X and it was just super.
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(Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau) From double magnum - bricking, medium dark red violet color; tobacco, cigar box nose; tasty, cigar box, tobacco, tar, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 93+ pts.
(Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf du Pape) This wine impresses with its depth of colour, its dark pigment, with a deep red-mahogany core and a more mature, almost tawny rim. The nose evolves over several hours in the glass, showing macerated cherry fruit, with fresh aromas of mushrooms, leather, spice and after an hour or two some volatile acidity. On the palate the most noticeable feature at first is the silky texture, a soft substance which coats the palate; this is in no way a dried out wine. Underneath there is a good ripe tannic structure, and good acidity too. It has such a lovely presence, I find it charming if a touch forceful and grippy towards the finish. Peppered with the flavours of tobacco, leather, and gritty fruit, this twenty-year old wine is performing very well indeed tonight, and I would have no hesitation about leaving my remaining bottles for many years. In fact, I think this still-youthful wine almost demands it.
(Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf du Pape) Fairly transparent in appearance, but mature, with a good depth of hue. There is a little rubber on the nose at first, but it is just a slightly reductive component which soon dissipates. The more classic character, roasted meats, fur and baked red fruits with a sweet, macerated character. It suggests warmth, but on the palate we have a wine that is balanced, with a welcoming weight and texture, but underneath that still a firm structure , a good backbone of acidity and there are still some tannins poking through too, particularly at the finish. Crisply defined, this continues to drink very well indeed. Delicious.
(Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau) Group's #2 (my #2) – 64 pts.; 3, 6, 3, 1 – lovely, focused, tart red fruit, dried red fruit and horseradish nose; focused, earthier, lower toned, tart red fruit and spice palate with high acidity; medium-plus finish 94+ pts.
(Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf du Pape) Decanted just an hour or so before drinking; this just got better and better as the evening wore on, so decanting slightly earlier might have been advantageous. It had a beautifully mature hue when poured, almost brick red at the rim, deeper and more freshly coloured at the core. But it is the nose that really alerts to the quality; a little dumb at first, but before long revealing notes of roasted meats and white pepper, along with a savage, animalistic, somewhat earthy and feral character. Soft, warm and cushioning on entry, remaining very plump and matronly through the midpalate, revealing just a little of the structure that lies beneath, which shows more on the finish. This is no shrinking violet; it may be ageing with finesse, but there is still a fabulous lick of tannin beneath as well. And there is fruit on the midpalate. It is very fine now, but the signs suggest this will continue along this plateau of drinkability for some time. Nice length, too! Just lovely.