TN: 2003 Le Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf-du-Pape

  • 2003 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape - France, Rhône, Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape (9/15/2005)
    A litte muted of a nose and a tannic beast, as one would expect. Very nice fruit with beautiful licorice and spice flavors in a well structured wine. This thing should be very good with a bunch of bottle age, however, no regrets in opening a 375 this early. Will seek out more.

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Tilly, I just haven't had enough LVD to make a good comparison. I can say that if you had put this in with a number of California Rhone-style blends, I likely would not have been able to pick it out. It also seems more tannic that most other '03s CdPs that I've tasted.
We had our first one last night. I've never had a great Donjon...until this bottle! What a great CdP! Nose was a bit soft, but layers of juicy fruit explode on the palate. I realize this isn't much more than 9 years old, but I can't imagine it getting any better, though I wouldn't be in a hurry to drink these. I will, however, have another one soon. This was the quintessentially great CdP. Best wine I've had in quite a while. 97
Board-O, your recent experience with the /03 sounds great!

I've been buying Donjon from the good vintages since the /98 was released. I began opening a few from different vintages over the last couple of years and have yet to be overwhelmed. I always figured it was due to my lack of patience so I'm intrigued by your TN.

I'd appreciate your thoughts on decanting the /03 if opened in the near future.
I also had yet to be overwhelmed by a Le Vieux Donjon previous to this bottle. It got a great review so I bought 5 bottles at release. This bottle seemed ready to me. No rough edges and loads of fruit and a juicy acidity. A little more depth and complexity, which could come from further age, would make this pretty close to perfect.

I decanted this and poured the last, sediment-bearing bit through a coffee filter into a glass. I tasted that part right away and was amazed. The decanted wine didn't really seem to improve in the glass, but was outstanding over the course of dinner. My suggestion would be to decant and taste right away and see what you think. You can hold it for quite a while. It certainly won't deteriorate for hours.
Opened a 2003 last night. No formal notes, but very nice nose and drinking well. Did not seem in decline at all, and I think it well drink well for at least another 3 years. As aphilla's note above mentions, had very heavy sediment and I would recommend standing it for awhile before opening. Drank with an '03 Vieux Telegraphe La Crau and a 2010 Donelan Cuvee Moriah. I'd give the nod to the Vieux Donjon as WOTN.
Oops! Apologies, Ardeis, I did not read your post very carefully; you were asking about the 2001. I last had 2001 Vieux Donjon about 6 months ago. It's delicious.

I bought a lot of '98/99/00/01/03 Donjon, and other than 1 corked bottle, have not been disappointed with this wine. I think I bought some 2010 as well, but will hold off on those for a while. Smile
I didn't take formal notes, but we had a bottle of this Sunday night - my 2nd time having it in the last month. To my palate, there is no reason to hold these longer. That being said I don't think they will fade in the next 2-3 years either. As others have notes, very heavy sediment. Licorice and ripe red fruits dominate. A nice mix of ripe fruit with old-world aromas and such a pleasure to drink.

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