On the palate, stone fruit, pear, honey, melon with some citrus, a touch of almond and toast. Very good minerality.
The owners tend to downplay and are quite modest about their white wine — and indeed are better known for their red blend. I found it to be a very good bottle of wine, and an excellent food wine. I was able to get this at about 40 percent off retail, and might have expected a bit more had I paid retail — though in wine, the phrase “you get what you pay for” does not carry much weight in the wine world.
Given the chance, I would probably have picked up more of their Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge instead, but it will be interesting to see how this wine evolves over the next couple of years.
About Le Vieux Donjon
Le Vieux Donjon is owned by Marie José and Lucien Michel, they have been in charge of the estate since 1978. The domain was founded by the father of Lucien Michel, Marcel Michel.
The domain covers just over 34 acres of Chateauneuf du Pape. They follow a traditional vinification process, including an extended maceration with stems, long aging in older foudres. The individual varieties are not vinified separately the way they would be at most Chateaunuef estates. They only produce one cuvée of red and of white Chateauneuf du Pape is made.
Average production is about 3,200 cases.
“I have been buying the wines of Le Vieux Donjon for well over a decade, and I continue to be impressed by how consistently classic they are. [This] continues to be the most underrated great estate of the appellation.”
Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate
“The style of the wines is unashamedly, ‘traditionelle’ – vins de garde with plenty of backbone and muscle to them. However, these are no clumsy blockbusters, but wines with real definition and elegance underneath powerful exteriors. … . These are well-constituted wines with great depth and extract, which manage to retain finesse. This is relatively rare in an appellation where size and clumsiness abound and one frequently looks in vain for subtlety…Sales of Le Vieux Donjon are not a problem for Marie-José and Lucien Michel. One can taste why.”
Remington Norman, Rhone Renaissance