Wine Spectator 96
"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."~JM
Rhone Report 96
"A classic Le Vieux Donjon, the 2010 Châteauneuf-du-Pape displays a brilliantly traditional, yet pure, clean bouquet of blackberry liqueur, white pepper, licorice, crushed flowers, and roasted Provencal herbs that flows to a full-bodied, gorgeously textured and pure palate. Voluptuous and seamless, with fresh acidity and building richness and tannin, this beauty has the fruit to drink well now, yet will not hit prime time until 5-6 years after the vintage and should evolve gracefully for upwards of two decades."~JD
Robert Parker 96
"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."
International Wine Report 95
"The 2010 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape is elegant and classy with gorgeous fresh blackberry, ripe plum, cloves, pepper, spices, lavender along with some floral and mineral mixed in. This is so soft, velvety and caressing as it glides effortlessly across your palate. Love the focus and balance this demonstrates from start to finish. It will be fun to watch this evolve over the next 20 years, however for those who can't wait it is also excellent today. A beautiful wine to say the least."~JD
International Wine Cellar 93-95
"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."~JR
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.
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