Finally opened a half-bottle of the 2001 Vieux Telegraphe, since I hadn’t tried it since it was released. The wine is a fine, deep red color, but without the opacity and purplish rim of the 1998 and other “massive” vintages. In character it seems a finer, more elegant wine than 1998 or 1999.
The nose has a ripe, wild Syrah character to it, replaced by a deeper pit fruit element (like plum?) which is characteristic of VT, along with a flinty, mineral streak on the palate. The palate also has a bit of the herbal salty garrigue element I like, but only a touch at this point. It also seems a bit “hot” on the palate — not unexpected in a “big” year like 2001 but normally the 14% alcohol is hidden behind more tannin and raw power.