This is a Parker 95 pointer and I can see why it would appeal. Like him I love CDP and have a soft spot for Domaine du Vieux Telegraphe as it was one of the first ‘famous’ wines I tried when young. I am not sure which year but guess it must have been from the 70s. I didn’t really like it as it was very ‘strong’ and I was more interested in my glass of shandy!
The 2005 has layer upon layer of crystalline fruit with herby notes and an overwhelming sense of minerality and depth. I felt that I couldn’t really assimilate it and perhaps this is because it is still in an awkward stage of pre-adolescence. It will be interesting to see how scores change over the years. I can see how this could mature into something balanced and coherent but at the moment it is a bit like licking a window doused in jam and brandy.
Composed of the usual suspects (mainly Grenache with enough Syrah and Mourvedre to give it structure and complexity), some of the other permitted grapes also find their way in but in very small quantities. It is incredibly intense at the moment, tiring even. We had tried a few ‘lesser’ CDPs from 03 and 04 before it and I preferred their accessibility. This is too much like hard work and I think it needs another 5 years. I would much rather drink the 1998 because it has settled down into a wonderful example of CDP. Initially soft and stone fruits on the nose but after 15 mins lots of dark rich notes (chocolate, coffee? maybe something woody, truffly). I have had this at St John Bread and wine with venison and it was perfect. These wines do not really work on their own because they are so big and boozy. This is truer of the 2005 than the 1998 but they are made to be drunk with food and it always amazes me that they are judged when ridiculously young and in repetitive tastings. Critics’ tongues must swell up like balloons and the process of de-sensitisation/habituation must be accelerated.
Chris Kissack AKA the wine doctor has a good page on the Domaine and recent vintages here. I also sometimes buy Domaine de la Roquette down the road from VT which is half the price and often lovely, especially with strong dark meats.