TN: 2003 Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf du Pape "La Crau"

Lots of references to this wine in other "bulk" tasting threads, but it deserves a thread of it's own.

Popped and poured. Consumed over 2 1/2 hours with grilled beef tenderloin, asparagus, and baked potato.

My last taste of this came in 2006, when it was a huge but disjointed young wine that I thought showed great promise.

This time, it was a mixed experience for me. On first opening, the nose was not all that expressive, but what was there was dominated by pruniness. This is a character that I do not like, but others, including Mr. Parker himself, seem to either love or ignore this trait. The nose evolved over the next two hours, so that it was less pruney, but the hints of stewed fruit never completely went away. With time there were subtle hints of garrigue and Asian spice, but the nose was never all that expressive. The color was light, but still young. Despite the prunes on the nose, the palate was clearly quite different to me. The fruit was more black cherry--no prunes or raisins here. The structure and mouthfeel were absolutely gorgeous. The tannins have smoothed considerably, and this wine has evolved from a big hairy monster to an elegant beauty. Normally the prunes on the nose would just turn me off, but somehow this wine keeps me happy all the way through. It shows great versatility with food. Most importantly, my wife liked it too. Based on the tannins and mouthfeel, it seems to be ready now, but with the relatively muted nose (for a higher-end CdP), it may still be a little closed. Drink or hold. 91-93 points for me.
Original Post
Hi Redhawk.

I've got the 04 and 07 VT's waiting.

The only 03 CdP I bought was on a good sale, a half case of Brunel "Les Cailloux." It was a big jammy mess the first time I tried it. I waited until 2009 on the rest, and they were so good that I consumed the last one recently Frown

Just goes to show me that a hot vintage CdP may seem a mess at first, but they can really work out with some time. I won't necessarily ignore the next "hot" vintage of CdP!
quote:
Originally posted by snipes:
Thanks for the notes Redhawk. VT is one of my favorite producers. Do you think this pruniness is related to the hot '03 vintage?


I'm afraid it might be. I've tried a couple '03s, and some were pruney, others weren't. To me Beaucastel is almost always pruney, so that wasn't a surprise. Other vintages of VT I've tried have not been overtly pruney. So if I had to guess, I would say it's mostly the hot vintage to blame.
I've had that pruney flavor in almost every '03 CDP I've tried. Just a brutal vintage imho. It was after that vintage, that I really began to question whether Parker had anything to offer me as clearly his palate tolerated a ripeness that I found offputting.
This is the note I made from one I opened during the Thanksgiving holiday last year:


Posted from CellarTracker

I suspected I should sit on it still but went ahead and tried one. I've been drinking some other '03 CDPs along the way since I got them. I've liked Autard and Fortia (Baron) all along. I've opened 3 Raymond Usseglios in the last year and they are really singing.
2003 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (3/20/2011)
Popped and poured. Brilliant ruby color tending towards translucent. On the nose, bright cherry and red fruit tones, some herbal notes, and a hint of smoke. Full bodied. On the palate, bright ripe cherry fruit, fairly concentrated flavors, medium acidity, some pleasant herbal notes (dare I say garriuge), iron, and maduro wrapper. This has significant tannins, but they’re smooth and polished. Medium to long 45+ second finish, initially shows some roasted fruit flavors, followed by mint, dried herbs and an earthy mineral touch.

A fine bottle of CdP, though somewhat atypical due to the ripeness level. This wine carries it well. Just entering its drinking window. Drink or hold. (93 pts.)
2003 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (8/27/2011)
Popped and poured. Medium ruby color tending towards translucent. Slightly reticent nose showing raspberry, plums, and iron earthy tones. Some tobacco and herbs, Medium bodied with roasted plum, blackberry fruit, licorice, and beef blood. Medium length finish, 30+ seconds with very smooth tannic structure.

Reasonably good, but definitely shows the heat from the vintage. Not a classic Vieux Telegraphe in style but enjoyable nonetheless. Drink over the medium term 3-6 years. (92 pts.)
quote:
Originally posted by Sandy Fitzgerald:
I'm taking this to an Off-Line next weekend. I don't typically pop and pour anything red. Was actually planning on decanting this wine 3-4 hours before the OffLine. Any thoughts.
Then I would do what you normally do. I think people over decant wines, but apparently you don't fall into that line of thought.
Gigond Ass;

I was hoping for some comments from people that had decanted the wine to see what the results were. But Thanks!

You are correct though, that I don't typically share your school of thought, in that regard. Just different tastes I guess. Been to quite a few OL's that people brought young, highly tannic wines in, wound up like a generator and popped and poured. Some people like'm some people don't.
quote:
Originally posted by Sandy Fitzgerald:
Gigond Ass;

I was hoping for some comments from people that had decanted the wine to see what the results were. But Thanks!

You are correct though, that I don't typically share your school of thought, in that regard. Just different tastes I guess. Been to quite a few OL's that people brought young, highly tannic wines in, wound up like a generator and popped and poured. Some people like'm some people don't.
Fair enough, but I wouldn't describe this particular wine as tasting young and/or tannic. An hour in a decanter wouldn't hurt it.
Here is my take on this wine. It was decanted a full 5 hours before the tasting. This wine was a total beauty after that time for the tasting. Upon pop and pour, it was still wound up tighter than a drum. I tried it on hour three and not much had changed. Anyone drinking this wine with less than 4-5 hours o decant is doing themselves and the wine an injustice.

GA, your short decant suggestion, was fortunately overlooked!
GA;

This thread is about the 03 "La Crau", not Bdxs. I happened to taste the wine through its development and believe the wine was far better after five (5) hours of decant than it was anytime earlier. I made that statement because I did the work. The wine got excellent reviews from everyone at the Off-Line. Since you don't believe in longer decants, I doubt that you have any context from which to make any claims on the advantages of a longer versus decant for this wine. So put your rolly eyes in a dark hole and get over yourself!
Well, since I've had this twice this year and drank it over several hours both times, I pretty much call BS on that statement.

If you prefer your wines oxidized to that level, no doubt you found it preferable. At the ripeness level of the 03, I found it less enjoyable at the end of the time period I had it open.

Like I said, to each his own. My viewpoint (and experience) with the wine differ from yours substantially.
quote:
Originally posted by Italian Wino:
I can promise you the wine was not oxidized. It was one of the top 3 wines wines of the night with some heavy hitters.

IW
As I've clearly said, and apparently I need to say it again, anyone decanting this wine for 5 hours isn't doing the wine any favors.

Since you only had it after a 5 hour decant, I'll assume you are just guessing.

To each his own. I simply disagree.
Jcocktosten and FKG brought this wine over tonight. We decanted it about 5 minutes (in the bottle Big Grin) over Falafel sandwiches, and assorted cheeses.

This wine had a beautiful ruby color which was starting to brick. Medium to full bodied, it showed red cherry, raspberry, and spices against a smooth tannic backdrop. A midpalate of stewed fruit with minerals eased into a slightly smokey finish. I'll give this '03 a very drinkable 93.

This wine was such a pleasure to drink with such great company.
quote:
Originally posted by MiamiAtty:
Jcocktosten and FKG brought this wine over tonight. We decanted it about 5 minutes (in the bottle Big Grin) over Falafel sandwiches, and assorted cheeses.

This wine had a beautiful ruby color which was starting to brick. Medium to full bodied, it showed red cherry, raspberry, and spices against a smooth tannic backdrop. A midpalate of stewed fruit with minerals eased into a slightly smokey finish. I'll give this '03 a very drinkable 93.

This wine was such a pleasure to drink with such great company.


Good note - was very pleased with this. Much better than the last time I had this bottle about 3 years ago at one of the Bistro Provence offlines. Happy we have 3 more 750s and 1 magnum
quote:
Originally posted by Jcocktosten:
quote:
Originally posted by MiamiAtty:
Jcocktosten and FKG brought this wine over tonight. We decanted it about 5 minutes (in the bottle Big Grin) over Falafel sandwiches, and assorted cheeses.

This wine had a beautiful ruby color which was starting to brick. Medium to full bodied, it showed red cherry, raspberry, and spices against a smooth tannic backdrop. A midpalate of stewed fruit with minerals eased into a slightly smokey finish. I'll give this '03 a very drinkable 93.

This wine was such a pleasure to drink with such great company.


Good note - was very pleased with this. Much better than the last time I had this bottle about 3 years ago at one of the Bistro Provence offlines. Happy we have 3 more 750s and 1 magnum


Nice note MA. Glad it showed so well as it will be one of your last wines as a bachelor. Wink I'm pretty sure the bottle JC mentioned was mine and it was too early. Made me remember buying VT and and Janasse Chaupin for $30-35 at Wine Warehouse. Alas, those days are gone as CdP has more than doubled in price and Wine Warehouse closed its last S FL location in Ft Lauderdale not too long ago.
quote:
Originally posted by vinole:
quote:
Originally posted by Jcocktosten:
quote:
Originally posted by MiamiAtty:
Jcocktosten and FKG brought this wine over tonight. We decanted it about 5 minutes (in the bottle Big Grin) over Falafel sandwiches, and assorted cheeses.

This wine had a beautiful ruby color which was starting to brick. Medium to full bodied, it showed red cherry, raspberry, and spices against a smooth tannic backdrop. A midpalate of stewed fruit with minerals eased into a slightly smokey finish. I'll give this '03 a very drinkable 93.

This wine was such a pleasure to drink with such great company.


Good note - was very pleased with this. Much better than the last time I had this bottle about 3 years ago at one of the Bistro Provence offlines. Happy we have 3 more 750s and 1 magnum


Nice note MA. Glad it showed so well as it will be one of your last wines as a bachelor. Wink I'm pretty sure the bottle JC mentioned was mine and it was too early. Made me remember buying VT and and Janasse Chaupin for $30-35 at Wine Warehouse. Alas, those days are gone as CdP has more than doubled in price and Wine Warehouse closed its last S FL location in Ft Lauderdale not too long ago.


Exactly correct. it was definitely your bottle and I think we were sitting next to each other and Miami-Atty was down on the other end. FKG and Iactually had one of these in 2008 according to CT. I think we got this at the Wine Warehouse
  • 2003 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (10/25/2012)
    Decanted 90 minutes before serving. Very good. Beautiful nose of red berries, garrigue spice, and a bit smoky. The palate reminds me of ruby port, but not sweet. Cherry tobacco and earthy minerality. Mouth-watering acidity and long smooth finish.

Posted from CellarTracker
Opened one of these last night along with an '03 Le Vieux Donjon. Opened about 2 hours prior to drinking with no decant. No formal notes but drinking well. Very nice nose of "dark" red fruit and brown sugar. Possibly a little more advanced than the Donjon, but I think Gigond Ass hit the drinking window squarely on the head, and I'd say it is good for another 2-3 years at least.
  • 2003 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (12/30/2014)
    BYO decanted at restaurant with notable sediment. Beautiful dark dense purple color. Full bodied dark berries/jam with perfectly integrated tannins appearing at mid-palate. Well balanced fruit forward medium finish. At peak drinking window now with enough structure to last a few more years. Very nice! (92 pts.)

Posted from CellarTracker
  • 2003 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (1/10/2015)
    This was an awesome bottle. Everything is nicely balanced. Very smooth and very long. Red berry fruit, garrigue, some stony minerality, tangy spice, some anise and some smoky hints. Robust on both the nose and the palate. Decanted about 90 minutes before serving. Great with food AND great by itself.

    Served this with the pork tenderloin with peanut sauce and lentils with mushrooms from the old online wine spectator recipe.

Posted from CellarTracker

This was one of the best bottles of wine I've had in some time.
  • 2003 Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape La Crau - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (7/4/2015)
    Interesting, especially in comparison to my note from January. This bottle was good but not great. Also decanted for about 90 minutes. Heavy bricking. The flavor profile is dominated by iodine with a little bit of spiciness and some stony minerality, but it was pretty simple really. The finish does linger. This bottle was better with food.
    [img]http://ct-static.com/labels/642.jpg[/img]

Posted from CellarTracker

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