"If seeking The Real Thing at Châteauneuf-du-Pape, where the Grenache is quite rightly seasoned with other varietal influences, and where the land is allowed to speak, I would highly recommend Le Vieux Donjon to anyone's cellar."- John Livingstone-Learmonth, drinkrhone
It's an especial pleasure to be presenting an impeccable mature bottle of Châteauneuf-du-Pape from a banner vintage and a rigorously classical producer. These under-seen and under-appreciated bottles, like those from Mont-Redon or Vieux Télégraphe, provide a unique drinking experience, replete with bright red fruits, game, provençal herbs and astonishingly supple tannins.
Le Vieux Donjon belongs to the first rank of Châteauneuf producers producing classically styled wines without ever erring since their first vintage in 1979. Although over a third of their vines are supercentenarians (planted before 1900!), Le Vieux Donjon has admirably resisted producing anything other than their single cuvée. To split off their oldest vines would be too detrimental to the quality of this traditional and representative cuvée. Their holdings are mostly concentrated in Le Pied Long in the northern segment of the appellation next to lieu-dit Pignan. A majority of Grenache is fermented in concrete with minor accompanists Syrah and Mourvedre then aged exclusively in large old oak barrels.
These are impeccable old bottles from original wood cases with high fills, no seepage and great color. A recent bottle was simply stunning in its suavity of fruit and complexity of aromatics. The wine pours a beguiling ruby red and gamey, sour red cherry springs from the glass along with bouquet garni. Lavender mingles with leather and wild strawberry while tart acid seems to ripple through the silky, mostly broken-down tannin. The finish of earth, game and flowers lingers along with dusty sweet cherry. If you are looking to experience pristine mature CDP, you need look no further.