2014 Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf-du-Pape

Year: 2014
Appellation: Rhone
Country: France
Wine Spectator: 91
Wine Advocate: 89-91
Vinous Media: 92-94
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.0%
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"Sleek and fresh in feel, with bright cherry, damson plum and blood orange fruit flavors racing along, flecked with light shiso leaf and iron accents. Gives way to a perfumy but persistent finish. Drink now through 2024. 6,000 cases made. –JM " (WS)

"The 2014 Châteauneuf du Pape is a classic blend of 75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre and 5% Cinsault. Notes of sweet kirsch, currants, garrigue and while pepper all emerge from this medium-bodied, elegant and balanced Châteauneuf du Pape that shows the more forward, mid-weight style of the vintage. It has class and elegance, but I suspect it’s best consumed in its first decade or so.

This family run estate fashions one of the most traditional, Provençal and age-worthy Châteauneuf du Papes in the appellation. Today, the wines are made by Claire Michel, with assistance from Philippe Cambie, and her classic Châteauneuf du Pape is always a rough blend of 75% Grenache, 10% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre and the rest Cinsault. The grapes are partially destemmed and aging occurs all in older foudre. This is a no nonsense estate and the wines are outstanding in just about every vintage. Talking about her 2013, Claire commented that it incorporates more Mourvèdre and Syrah to account for the tiny yields in Grenache. It’s a more fresh, lively effort from this estate, yet has solid concentration and will age gracefully, although it comes up short on hedonistic pleasure. Calling the 2014 more “classic” in style, Claire went on to say that the “blend was back to normal” and that the vintage was difficult in the vineyard and required lots of dropped crop. While they normally co-ferment all of their grapes, due to the uneven ripening and spread out pick dates, that wasn’t an option in 2014. She also commented that the most successful estate were those with sandy soils and who didn’t wait too long to harvest." (WA)

"Brilliant ruby-red. Smoke-accented aromas of red and dark berry preserves, star anise and candied flowers convey a subtle hint of garrigue in the background. Sweet, seamless and broad on the palate, offering concentrated black raspberry and rose pastille flavors that turn spicier with air. Rich but vibrant as well, with no excess fat. Supple tannins build steadily on a very long, incisive finish that leaves behind notes of dark berries and candied flowers." (VM)