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Executive editor Thomas Matthews joined Wine Spectator in 1988. His tasting beat is Spain.
Thomas Matthews

A French Match for a Stone Crab Feast

Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape White La Crau 2005

Thomas Matthews
Posted: March 18, 2010

After participating in the South Beach Wine & Food Festival in Miami, Sara and I visited my cousin Betsy and her husband, Rob, in New Smyrna Beach. They threw us a stone crab feast.

There’s nothing like cracking those orange and black claws and pulling out all the sweet meat hidden inside. Betsy accompanies them with crusty bread, a green salad and her special sauce—a mix of mustard, mayonnaise and spices, inspired by Joe’s Stone Crab. And, of course, plenty of chilled white wine.

The hit of the night came from her cellar, a white Châteauneuf-du-Pape from Vieux Télégraphe. It was a brassy gold in color, showing some maturity, with exotic aromas of beeswax and herbs. Rich and firm on the palate, it offered pear, tangerine and anise flavors, bold and tangy, with a long finish. It had enough acid to balance the sweetness of the crab, and its herbal notes married nicely with the spicy mustard sauce. I rated it 92 points, non-blind.

WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe Châteauneuf-du-Pape White La Crau 2005 (93, $43).

• Plus, get scores and tasting notes for more recently rated white Châteauneuf-du-Pape.

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