2010 Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf-du-Pape 375 ml

Year: 2010
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 96
Wine Advocate: 96
Vinous Media: 93
Red Wine
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"This takes a decidedly old-school approach with its very distinctive bay leaf and juniper notes leading the way, along with roasted mesquite and alder wood. The core of steeped black currant, roasted plum and blackberry fruit waits in reserve while the long, ganache- and tar-filled finish has nice rugged grip, with a peppery echo. Should cellar wonderfully. Best from 2015 through 2030. 8,000 cases made." (WS)

"The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape is a traditionally made cuvee aged totally in tank and foudre. Its inky/purple color is followed by a sweet bouquet of black olives, incense, blackberries, mulberries, black cherries and lavender. This perfumed, super-concentrated 2010 possesses good acidity, ripe tannin and a full-bodied, expansive mouthfeel. This mouth-coating, saturated, dense Chateauneuf du Pape has plenty of tannin to shed, so give it 3-4 years of cellaring, and drink it over the following two decades.

Unfortunately, I did not get to taste the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Blanc, but I loved their 2010, which included a nice dosage of Roussanne, which gave it extra complexity. I thought it was Vieux Donjon’s finest white Chateauneuf du Pape made to date, which is a credit to the young winemaker, Claire Michel, who has taken over the reins from her parents." (WA)

"(75% grenache, 10% each of mourvedre and syrah and 5% cinsault, fermented in concrete and aged in foudres): Bright purple. Explosive aromas of black and blue fruits, Indian spices and lavender, with a bright mineral topnote. Fleshy and smooth, with excellent clarity and lift to its black raspberry and mulberry flavors. The floral note repeats on the very long, sweet, focused finish. " (IWC)

Winery Notes:
The secret to the success of Le Vieux Donjon is really no secret at all. They have tremendously old vines (many in excess of 80 years of age) and they are experts at picking only once the grapes have achieved optimum ripeness. Partial de-stemming is practiced, as is a rather lengthy maceration. The juice is then fermented in cement tanks before spending 18-24 months maturing in neutral foudres. As is the case at Clos des Papes, only one cuvée is produced.