Screenwriter Pamela Pettler & Vieux Telegraphe
Wines of the Night

1988 Vieux Telegraphe ($20)

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.

Wine Scores

Ben: 90

Scott: 89

Tom: 89

Stephanie: 88

Pam: 89

2001 Vieux Telegraphe ($48)

A surprisingly mature hue here, with quite a mahogany red tone to it, and not the depth of pigment I was expecting, but I don't think this is anything out of the ordinary for aging Grenache. It still predominantly has fruit on the nose, with an aged, maturing, slightly cooked feel to it, along with scents of leather and tar.

Wine Scores

Ben: 90

Scott: 87

Tom: 88

Stephanie: 86

Pam: 86

2007 Vieux Telegraphe ($70)

The 2007 Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf du Pape should ultimately eclipse the 2005 and 1998. It appears to be one of the finest wines made by Daniel Brunier and his brother. Its deep ruby color is accompanied by a superb nose of nori seaweed wrappers, licorice, pepper, tobacco leaf, and gobs of sweet black cherry and black currant fruit. Full-bodied with a fabulous texture, purity, and freshness (a consistent hallmark of this vintage), a juicy, rich, layered mouthfeel, and a finish that lasts for 45+ seconds. Although young, the tannin, acidity, and alcohol are all well-integrated. Typically, this wine tends to be dormant for 3-5 years after bottling, then emerge brilliantly.

Wine Scores

Ben: 96

Scott: 95

Tom: 95

Stephanie: 96

Pam: 95