Monday, September 28, 2009

2007 Le Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf du Pape

Brand: Le Vieux Donjon
Style: Red Wine
Varietal: Rhone Blend
Region: Southern Rhone
Category: France
Size: 750 ml
Ratings: RP 94-96 WS 94IWC 93-96

Le Vieux Donjon- Tradition and Quality at the Highest Level

Le Vieux Donjon is run by Lucien Michel, his wife, Marie-José, and daughter Claire. Keeping to tradition, they produce only one cuvée of Chateauneuf du Pape, making them one of the few estates that has resisted the current fashion for producing old vine cuvee. So, unlike many of their competitiors, all their best, old vine fruit goes into this wine.

The vinification process is in the best sense of the word traditional. The blend comprises 75 percent Grenache (from vines averaging 90 years of age), 10-15 percent Syrah and 5-10 percent Mourvèdre and Cinsault. The wine is matured in large oak foudres at least two years old.

An estate for connoisseurs, these beautiful traditionally made Chateauneuf du Papes begin to truly blossom when they have been in the bottle for 5-7 years.


Robert Parker 94-96 Points

The three component parts of the 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape, Syrah from the estate's holdings in Pialons, old vine Grenache from sandy terroirs, and Mourvedre, are all brilliant, hence the estimated rating of (94-96). The wine reveals a dense purple color along with a gorgeous bouquet of camphor, licorice, graphite, sweet red and black fruits, smoked meats, and a hint of charcoal. Full-bodied and pure with plenty of Provencal garrigue and meaty characters, this superb, chewy red should turn out to be their finest effort since the 1998 and 1990. It is a classic, traditionally made Chateauneuf du Pape to drink between 2013-2026.

Wine Spectator 94 Points

Crackles with an urgency atypical for the vintage, with juniper, cassis bush and tobacco notes that manage to be more prominent than the well of dark plum and currant fruit this has in reserve. Racy and invigorating, with the fruit's sappy intensity offset perfectly by the mouthwatering minerality. Best from 2010 through 2028. 5,000 cases made. -JM

International Wine Cellar 93-96 Points

Inky ruby. Strikingly elegant, hypnotic bouquet of black raspberry, redcurrant, potpourri, garrigue and minerals. Stains the palate with deep red and dark berry flavors and suggestions of smoky minerals, candied flowers and Asian spices. Impeccably balanced wine with a seductive finishing interplay of sweetness, power and precision. This will be a must buy for Rhone freaks.

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