Le Vieux Donjon Rouge is usually a blend of 75% Grenache, 10% Mourvedre, 10% Syrah and 5% Cinsault, along with various other grape varieties added in small amounts. On average, the vines are more than 50 years of age, with many of the vines being older than 100 years.
The grapes are destemmed to various percentages, depending on the vintage. During fermentation at Vieux Donjon, all the grape varieties are vinified together, with the exception of the Mourvedre. The winemaking here is traditional.
Vinification takes place in traditional, square-shaped, red concrete vats and aged for 18 months in a combination of 80% foudres and the remaining 20% is aged in cement vats before bottling. The production is close to 4,200 cases per vintage.
A rich, mouthfilling effort, Vieux Donjon's 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape is concentrated and velvety, showing plenty of power and weight. Ripe cherries and raspberries are dusted with clove and star anise, then joined by hints of leather and cocoa on the long, intense finish. This is a beautiful Vieux Donjon that should drink well for more than a decade.
95 points, Wine Advocate (September 2020)
This estate always makes a traditionally styled wine and their 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape is no exception, revealing a medium ruby/purple color as well as spicy, gamey notes of red and black currants, smoked game, peppery garrigue, and new saddle leather. Medium to full-bodied, with terrific elegance (which is the vintage), a gorgeous texture, and outstanding length, this is classic, old-school Châteauneuf du Pape done clean, balanced, and brilliantly! It’s going to evolve nicely for 15 years or more.
94 points, JebDunnuck.com (June 2020)
(an example of the blend) dark robe; has a measured, harmonious nose, nice poise, comes with berry fruits, smokiness, a hint of licorice, light floral notes. The palate holds bright, welcoming dark fruit, spark in it, is juicy and continuous, lucid. This is open, drinks well, the tannins supple and inside. It’s very pleasing, without grandeur, holds suck on pastilles, coulis style fruit, some buzz in the powder of the tannins.
4 stars, DrinkRhone.com (May 2019)