2017 vieux telegraphe, chateauneuf-du-pape, la crau rouge
Why We're Buying
Châteauneuf-du-Pape has been the heart and soul of Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe since opening in 1891. La Crau Rouge exhibits a distinctive complexion, thanks to its proximity to the Alpine glaciers. The wine is the perfect partner for a lamb chop dinner and one of the highest-priced wines in the region.
As always, the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape sees a small amount of stems, and the blend is 60% Grenache, 15% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre, and the rest an assortment of varieties. Red currants, lavender, salty minerality, nori, and plenty of peppery garrigue notes emerge from the glass. It's medium to full-bodied, has the sunny, sexy style of the vintage, yet also builds nicely on the palate, with ripe yet present tannins. It's going to require 4-5 years of bottle age to hit price time, but it will keep for two decades.
Immediately a sense of darker fruit in this vintage. The nose has closed up a little since tasting in barrel. It has some reserved, sanguine notes and an essence-like, raspberry core. Some stones and chalk here, too. Very long and focused palate. The grenache is singing here. Dense but soft and supple tannins, the product of thick, healthy skins. Best from 2025.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Slated to be bottled less than a week after my visit, the final blend of the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape La Crau is fresh, vibrant and zesty, with notes of roses, tea, raspberries and blood oranges. Full-bodied yet diaphanous and silky, it doesn't appear to have the richness of either the 2016 or 2018. Rating: 92-94
Steeped red currant, plum and raspberry fruit splays out, while light lavender, black tea and singed juniper accents fill in. A juniper thread laces up the finish, lending definition while the fruit pumps through. Best from 2022 through 2040.