Monday, October 18, 2010

"Telegramme" Vieux Telegraphe Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2005/"Justification" Justin 2007

I'm not going to lie--I thought that the Telegramme would fare a little better than it did...but the fact is, the Justification absolutely destroyed this bottle. Of course, it's probably not fair to compare them; old world vs. new world, different grapes, etc, but still. The Justification is pretty fucking awesome. No questions at all about it. The Telegramme is also very good, but perhaps this was the wrong venue for it.

This was my last bottle of the 05 Telegramme. Lots of licorice, raspberry, and even a bit of vanilla on the nose. Acidic and poised, with elegant style. Great balance. I paid about 30$ or so three years ago. I like this wine better than the 07, as it is less about primary fruit and heft and more about balance. A-

The Justification, which was 33$ at Costco, on the other hand, is ripe and in your face along with impeccable balance. There's no question this wine is California. Seems to have settled a little bit in the last three months or so; this bottle had a lot more pipe tobacco character on the rose in addition to the beautiful fruit and pretty amazing balance. A+ 

I drank both of these bottles with my little brother, his girlfriend and Sarah. We drank these with boeuf Bourgignon. My little brother definitely preferred the Justification. As much as I like Telegramme, Kermit Lynch and Vieux Telegraphe, I'm hard pressed to say anything different. As I said last time I had the Justification, in my mind, the Justification is a Justification for California wine, and why people like it. It's perhaps somewhat atypical for its' balance, poise and acidity (you aren't going to find acidity in California Cabs), but it shows what California is capable of in the hands of people that know what they're doing and don't need to create a hedonistic fruit bomb that's 16% alcohol. People like Greg and I get it, and I hope that Justin keeps it up. I don't think I've ever been this excited about any California wine. It's that good.


Cabfrancophile said...

Justification definitely has what I like about CA wines when they work. That fresh, ripe fruit, well-integrated oak, hints of layered complexity and pure deliciousness. All the better at $33--I've only seen it around $40-$45 locally. The downside is that it usually takes $30+ to get to wines that are complete like this, though they are individualistic enough the price is warranted.

Joshiemac said...

I saw the Justification at Costco awhile back and wanted to buy it, except that the name reminded me of those uber-lame license plate covers that some people put on their cars, "Justification for Higher Education." The mere thought of a late model Mercedes with that license plate cover filled me with such hatred and scorn that I've been turned off from the entire brand ever since. Clever pun aside, somebody in their branding/marketing department should have thought of this!

Perhaps I should try to get over this unfortunate association as it looks like I'm missing out on a good wine.

Jeff said...

Yeah, dude, agree that the name is a little on the corny side. They had to speak to the fact that they were making some really good Bordeaux style Cab Franc in Paso I guess...

Definitely check it out if you see it. I think it's a steal for 33 or 34$. I don't think there's any chance that this wine is going to disappoint. It's definitely top 3 bottles of wine that I've had this year.

What other California wines are this good? I can't think of any that I've had. Maybe I'm not drinking broadly enough.