Saturday, September 11, 2010

"Telegramme" Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf du Pape 2007

Vieux Telegraphe is one of my favorite wineries. I haven't had many vintages of their wines, but all the ones that I've had have been pretty brilliant as far as I'm concerned. A lot of other people think that too, including Kermit Lynch. Anyways, this is about 30$, if you can still find it. I was toying with opening the last bottle I have of the 05 of this wine, but I wanted to see where this bottle was going since I have a few more bottles of it kicking around. It's drinking well now. One thing that I can say having had Vieux Telegraphe and Telegramme is that there really is a difference in the flagship wine. There is no doubt that it is much more serious than the Telegramme (even though the Telegramme is pretty great). I haven't had any of my 07 Vieux Telegraphe--I'm almost a little afraid to open them, but not for the reason you think. I actually am not so sure that I will like them, due to the hot vintage. A couple of people have told me that it's a touch over-extracted. Whatever, I'm going to let them sit for a long time, and if they drink like this bottle, they should be pretty good, if expensive. 

I opened this bottle to go with a pretty awesome dinner, if I do say so myself. Sarah's friend is moving here from North Carolina, and she's out here trying to find a place, so I pulled out all the stops. We had an heirloom tomato bufala mozzarella salad, green beans with caramelized onions, and ras el hanout braised lamb shanks over whole wheat cous cous. Pretty damn good. I'm glad there are some leftovers. The lamb was a good match for this wine too, which was my goal. Initially, a lot of orange rind character, and then opens up to reveal lots of licorice notes, chocolate, spicy nuances, lavender, and then black cherries. The nose smells a bit hot unfortunately. Very apparent that this is a big wine. I'm struck by the texture of this wine--like satin--smooth and silky, but then that fades into some obvious grip too. Obviously, Daniel Brunier knows what he's doing. This wine is also dense, and boasts a pretty damn long finish. Although I let this wine sit out for an hour-ish before we drank it with dinner, it wasn't really starting to open up until the very last bits of the wine. If you have bottles of this, definitely open it way in advance. It might be a better idea to just sit on these for a couple more years before opening, although it's pretty damn good right now. My only complaint is that there's a bit of heat, but this is a great bottle of wine. B+/A-

We also opened a bottle of 07 Pier Langhe Nebbiolo. I've had this wine before, and it's really settled down. Lots of nebbiolo character--candied cherries and hints of tar. Last time, there was an impenetrable wall of tannin; this time, it's all resolved. I almost think it might be time to drink up the last bottles I have? It almost seemed a bit tired. Anyways...While I was writing this, I was listening to Joey Ramone on XMU and he played "1,2,3, Slam" by Guttermouth. Fucking awesome. I haven't heard that song in forever. Those dudes are cool. They snuck my friend Travis and I into one of their shows with Lagwagon when I was about sixteen and even offered us beer. Pretty cool dudes. It was a seminal moment for me as a teenager. Who ever thought Guttermouth and Vieux Telegraphe would mix? I guess if there are any crusty old skate punks that happen to read wine blogs, maybe this will pop up for them. Haha. Somehow I really doubt it. 


CabFrancoPhile said...

Good to see you getting out of the Costco/TJ's 'decent but not exciting' wine rut. I know you've had to cut back. Still, I like reading about the wines that have something interesting to say.

Jeff said...

Yeah, agreed. I have a lot of wine stored's just that a lot of it probably isn't all that appropriate to be drinking yet. It is surprising how good something like this tastes if you've only been drinking really generic wine. On the flip side, it's surprising how much decent wine there is out there.

CabFrancoPhile said...

The depressing part in some ways is how much more you have to pay to get something interesting. $10 can make a reasonable wine if you find it in your style. Double that price, minimum, to get into more unique wines. It does pay to mix it up, for sure, as having the occasional horrific plonk helps you appreciate how much better the $10 value in your wheelhouse and $20 or $30 mid-level wines are.