About Le Vieux Donjon 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape
Family-owned Le Vieux Donjon is one of the most celebrated wineries in Châteauneuf-du-Pape since its formal founding in 1966. Keeping things simple has always proven successful for the Michel family who follow a traditional approach.
Grapes from several different parcels are sourced from this wine including Mont-Redon (Grenache), Cabrières (Grenache), Rayas (Grenache) and ‘Les Pialons’ (Grenache & Syrah). The average age of the Grenache vines is between 70 to 80 years old.
Once the fruit has arrived at the cellar, the Michels will destem (if necessary) or pass the fruit directly onto an elevated conveyer that carries the grapes to the top of one of six tanks where the grapes will remain for about three weeks. After vinification the wine is pumped downstairs into foudres ranging from two years to ‘very’ old. The wine is left to age anywhere between 18-20 months before bottling. The final blend is 75% Grenache 15% Syrah 5% Mourvedre 5% Others.
The Wine Advocate scored this 95 points saying “A rich, mouthfilling effort, Vieux Donjon's 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape is concentrated and velvety, showing plenty of power and weight. Ripe cherries and raspberries are dusted with clove and star anise, then jointed by hints of leather and cocoa on the long, intense finish. This is a beautiful Vieux Donjon that should drink well for more than a decade.”
Jeb Dunnuck scored this 94 points saying “This estate always makes a traditionally styled wine and their 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape is no exception, revealing a medium ruby/purple color as well as spicy, gamey notes of red and black currants, smoked game, peppery garrigue, and new saddle leather. Medium to full-bodied, with terrific elegance (which is the vintage), a gorgeous texture, and outstanding length, this is classic, old-school Châteauneuf du Pape done clean, balanced, and brilliantly! It’s going to evolve nicely for 15 years or more.”
Wine Spectator scored this 93 points saying “Stylish, with a mix of red cherry, raspberry and Damson purée flavors swirling together. Light garrigue, juniper and warm brick hints develop through the finish, adding textural range and overall length. Should age nicely too. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault. Best from 2021 through 2035.”