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Date Printed: 7/23/2014
Le Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2008
Le Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2008
(search item no. 105863)
collectible wine
green wine

Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
PRICE ON 7/23/2014: $59.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2012 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2011 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2011 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 96 points
2010 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
2009 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 96 points
2007 International Wine Cellar rating: 93 points
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
2006 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2006 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 95 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 94 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points
2004 Wine Spectator rating: 94 points
2003 The Wine Advocate rating: 95 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 94 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2005 vintage of this wine was ranked #3 on the Wine Spectator's Top 10 Wines of 2007

75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mouvèdre and 5% Cinsault and others.

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.

The 2008 Chateauneuf du Pape is certainly a strong effort for the vintage. Classic notes of kirsch, plum, spice box, cedar, and garrigue are accompanied by deep fruit, an attractive dark ruby/plum color, and surprising body as well as depth for a 2008. It should drink well young, and evolve for up to a decade.

Vieux Donjon's traditional winemaking is more and more in the hands of owner Lucien Michel's talented daughter, Claire, although both parents (Lucien and his wife Marie Jose) are still very involved.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Le Vieux Donjon:

About Le Vieux Donjon:

Le Vieux Donjon, as it exists today, was created in 1979 with the marriage of Lucien and Marie José Michel. Both Lucien and Marie José's parents owned vineyards in the region, and those holding were combined to form Le Vieux Donjon. The domaine covers fourteen hectares of vineyards (all farmed organically), thirteen planted to red grapes and one planted to white. The Michel's holdings are primarily in the North and Northwest of the AOC, but they also have small plots in the Southwest and East. Their most important parcel is Pialons, and the grapes from the 2008 come from that parcel as well as those in Cabrieres, Bois de Boursan, Les Marines and Le Mourre de Gaude. The soils are mainly limestone and clay, and are studded with the famed galets roulé, the round, rust-colored stones which were left behind after the retreat of the Alpine glaciers which once covered the region