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.