97/100 : Moving to the grand vin, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is backward and dense, with a huge mid-palate, notes of framboise, black cherries, roasted herbs, nori, and spice, a thick, opulent texture, and yet no sense of weight or heaviness. With ripe, polished tannin and a blockbuster finish, it might just be the greatest wine from this estate to date.
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One of my favorite visits during my time spent working in the southern Rhône is with Daniel Brunier at Domaine du Vieux Telegraph. A large estate, it covers almost 150 acres of prime terroir, mostly in the famed la Crau lieu-dit located around the estate. They’ve streamlined the lineup in the past few years and now release five Châteauneuf du Pape; two whites and three reds. The vinification here is as traditional as they come, with fermentation occurring without temperature control and all with native yeast. Aging occurs mostly in older foudre and the whole process is very hands off