"Éric Texier’s 2017 Châteauneuf du Pape “Vieilles Vignes” has just been released and
shipped in quite recently here to New York. The wine is composed of a blend of ninety-five
percent grenache and five percent mourvèdre, with the grenache seventy years of age and all
hailing from the famed La Crau section of the appellation (where Vieux Telegraphe is located).
The wine is one hundred percent whole clusters and raised in old Burgundy casks prior to
bottling, without fining or filtration. The 2017 version comes in at 14.5 percent octane and offers
up a superb bouquet of red and black raspberries, spit-roasted venison, pepper, garrigue, a great
base of stony soil tones, bonfire and a nice touch of fruitcake in the upper register. On the palate
the wine is deep, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with fine soil signature and grip, ripe,
buried tannins and a long, complex and very classic finish. There is just a whisper of warmth on
the backend here, but this is a very traditional expression of La Crau and a great bottle of
Châteauneuf du Pape in the making. 2027-2065. "