Was surprised how clean, bright and delicious the red fruit is, medium light texture....but there was nothing but the fruit. Not a single other expected CdP note or anything of interest. Still, cannot argue with the fruit.
Nice old school CDP just entering its prime drinking years. Initial aromas of olives and meat on the nose. With a half hour of air, settled into a gentler, fruitier place of sour cherry and garrigue. Nice, almost Burgundian texture. On the light end of middle weight, with good acidic balance. A small amount of chunky sediment, otherwise deep, clear garnet with a smallish clear rim. Just fine to drink now, but with years and years to go.
Popped and poured. This is a solid ruby wine with some modest end-of-bottle sediment. On the nose, I get ripe cherry and garrigue odors -- this has a classic CdP nose. In the mouth, the acid dominates, although there is some nice, ripe fruit that leaves a sour cherry finish. Overall, this wine is good to go; it wears its old schools credentials with pride and brings a sense of pleasure through the whole wine. 91 points.
At home with turkey chili (mild spice). Decanted for about 45 minutes, drank over 2 hours.
Medium red color, clear, no sediment. Some bricking at the rim. Nose was very funky on the decant, thought it might be corked. The air time completely changed/improved the wine. Could use up to 2 hours.
Palate is black cherry, pepper, garrigue, earth, tobacco. Well aged, mouth feel is elegant and smooth. Was expecting this to be heavier. This vintage has surprised to the upside...in a good spot, should hold at this level for 3-5 years
Really nice. Opened for about an hour and a half before dinner, but not decanted. Happily there was not a lot of sediment. The flavors are fairly sharp and it was much better with food than by itself. The nose has some mild barnyard and garrigue. There's a lot going on when you drink it: by turns cherry or red berry, some garrigue flavors, some licorice, spicy, some mineral flavors, maybe a little bit of tobacco. The finish is lengthy and smooth.
Drinking very well and I don't see it getting better. Very expressive nose of dried fruits, sandalwood, and garrigue. Soft palate, spicy and smooth with animal notes. Elegant and balanced. Lengthy finish. Hard not to like. Everything you would want in a CdP.
What a beautiful wine this became. Decanted (some solids) and let rest for a few minutes. Drank over a three hour period. Nice deep red in color. Nose of red fruit and spices. Very pure and clean flavors of red fruits and plums. Nice mouth feel and very pleasant aftertaste.
Purple with the beginnings of some bricking. Beautiful nose of briary fruits, meat, licorice kirsh with a hint of barnyard. Similar palate with some spice and heat. Still quite tannic and should last for many years to come.
Some attractive character, but the sourness (as described by others at the table) spoilt its balance. I think it was better a couple of years ago which I rarely say about Chateauneuf because I like them old. I have recently had some 2004 Cotes du Rhone Villages that are very much better.
Some lightening on the edge. Rich nose, but a hint of brett knocks it down. Smooth entry. This tightened up over time. Some astringency and acidity on the palate and a clipped finish. I'll chalk this up as flawed.
This is a bit sharp by itself but married nicely with food. Decanted this for a couple of hours before dinner. Smells really nice and tastes good too with a long, but as I said earlier, sharp finish. Some plum flavors but nicely balanced with garrigue, leather, and earth.
Popped and poured. This was good, but did not make quite as favorable an impression as the previous bottle. This will probably last a few more years, but I'd suggest drinking sooner rather than later since I don't expect improvement from here. The 2004 was a step behind the 2001 IMO. It's good, but doesn't quite have the complexity and excitement of the best vintages.
Drank my last bottle of this last night, along with a 2003 Pegau and a 2003 Clos des Papes. All three were very nice wines, but the Clos des Papes and Donjon, for me, edged out the Pegau. All three were big wines, with lots of fruit, and tannins that now have fully integrated into the mix. No edges at all to any of the three. I should have waited on all of my '03's and '04's. Lesson learned, perhaps.
Medium depth of transparent ruby color. Nose is rather mute, shows hints of kirsch liqueur, garrigue, leather and sweet spice. Quite full bodied, with opulent mouthfeel, more flavorful than on the nose, mellow tannins and high-ish alcohol. Might have been better younger and might become more interesting in the future. Quite tame comared to my memory of the bretty beast of '98.
Half bottle. Medium red, maturing. Lovely mix of discretely ripe red fruit, just a hint of fig, and herbs. Medium weight, savory, good length, no gratuitous sweetness. I've had great success with this wine in this format. Chateauneuf as it used to be.
Ruby red in color with some bricking on the edges. Plums, kirsch, saline and spice cake on the nose. Medium in weight with light tannins. Garrigue, Asian spices, raspberry, raisin, cranberry and iodine on the palate. Delicious wine that is drinking beautifully right now. Drink over the next 2-4 years.
Opened by Lostverse. The cepage is normally 75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre and 5% Cinsault. This was the best Donjon CdP that I have had. I liked it better than the 1995, 1996, 1999 or 2001. Deep red color. Exceedingly smooth. Berries, earthy and a little chocolate. Integrated tannins. Elegant finish. Really enjoyed this wine and thought it was in a sweet spot right now. 93-94 points.
Solid CdP entering maturity. Spice cake, sandalwood, and iodine on the nose. Palate is smooth and rather round, with a hint of heat, but adding iron, blood, and mature dried red fruits to the mix. Moderate finish with a little tar coming in with mature fruit. Lacking a little complexity on the finish to go to the next level. Very approachable though may not have been the best stored example. (Winebid) lacks a little freshness that I associate with this producer.
Good wine! An intense and interesting nose, combining sweet red fruits, garrigues and herbes, and animal notes. It has medium to full body and a good aroma intensity. The tannins are well resolved. Drinking very well right now, but will last at least 5 more years.
Le Vieux Donjon Vertical tasting 2004, 2006, 2010. Prime rib dinner with portabello mushroom reduction. Added 2004 Duhart Milon for dinner.
Garnet red. Nose of tar, forest floor, saddle soap. Full bodied, dark fruit, tar, earthy. Integrated tannin and long finish. Drinking well at this point. Great pairing with dinner. Sad that I only had one.
Better than expected based on other CT reviews. Drank from a magnum, decanted 1 hour. Medium bodied and not exceptional, but still a nice bottle of CDP that paired well with duck for Christmas eve dinner. That said, it got a bit sour after being open a few hours, and the bit that was left wasn't as good on day 2.
A weird orangey purple color. The nose is slightly barnyardy, with cherry and cranberry fruit and herby garrigue. Still warming up from the cellar but the palate is the same as the nose. Medium bodied with firm tannins. Just a bit thin on the finish and a bit grape-soupy overall. Good but not inspiring.
Drank from a magnum. Paired with a boeuf bourguignon. Quite shut down at first; decanted and aired for a while - after two hours there was a short window where some pleasant aromatics showed up, and then rather quickly it faded in the glass.
Kirsch, sichuan peppercorn spice, some garrigue - I don't get any of the barnyard or smoke that other CTs have noted. Medium grip, rather low energy level, and acidity just a little astringent, but still a wine in balance. Like other 'trackers I see very little upside in storing this for much longer.
The intensity of this vintage continues to wind down. The remeniscent guarigue of Donjon is ever present with notes of Herbs du Provence. A slight thinning on the edge of this medium ruby color. Popped from the cellar and allowed to airate while I consumed over a three hour period. EG WineArchitect
Decanted and poured, this wine gave a very good showing with aromatics that showed a blend of raspberry, leather, granite and some underlying funky elements. The bouquet, although expressive, never fully unifies and gives a somewhat uneven impression. The medium (full) bodied palate shows good overall balance and a blend of youthful and maturing notes; however an underlying funky element detracts from the overall impression. Based on this bottle, this wine may or may not benefit from additional bottle age.
--- COLOR: Light garnet with ruby rim NOTE: Typical CDP. CDP funk in the nose, then some pepper, then it smells like a London butcher shop, then it smells like lanolin, then some pungent red raspberry shows up. Why do so many CDPs smell exactly like this? It's irritating and off-putting. The mouth is medium-heavy body with nice glycerin, but once again its all the savory notes that hit first. Loads of garrigue, pepper, roast beef and a smattering of red berry fruits again. The finish just compounds this and adds to it, like you were drinking the mixture from a dirty ashtray. I think 85 is a nice score, because from a pleasure standpoint this would probably be in the low 70's. It's not flawed. It's well-made. But it's made for someone else that I may never become. I just regret cellaring it for so many years when I could have just dispatched it and made room for something more worthy. Yet another disappointing trip down the CDP lane. Long live California Rhones!
DECANT: 1-3 hours GLASS USED: Bordeaux TASTE: 8.5 OTHER: COST: 44 VALUE: 3.0 PREVIOUSLY TASTED: like 3-5 years ago or something, dunno TRY AGAIN: now - 2015 PAIRING: none Inquiries can be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org ---
Tasted from a half bottle over two nights, this was very enjoyable. Dark in the glass with a bit of sediment in the bottle. Nose of dark fruit, herbs and spice. There is raspberry on the palate with a long finish of tart cherry and pepper. Did I mention the long finish? The tannins are still present, so I feel there is life ahead for this wine. I picked up the half bottle at a close out so I could hold on to my last three full bottles to hopefully let them show me a more mature characteristic.
Bastille Day Tastings-Mostly French (San Francisco): Half bottle. Medium ruby. Classic aromatic blend of cool green herbs and raspberry fruit. Lovely weight and freshness of fruit enlivened by firm acidity. I opened this to replace an imperfect Gigondas and was very pleased with its purity and vigor compared to that wine. Unlike the last time I tasted it, no off chemical smells. The '04s continue to acquit themselves well although the vintage sits in the shadow of bigger, riper years that bracket it.
Le Vieux Donjon Vertical Dinner (Vancouver, BC): Medium red in colour. Lots of herbal notes on the nose along with red fruits and white pepper aromas. In the mouth this was the freshest and lightest of the wines so far with good balance, high acidity, medium tannins and smooth mouthfeel. Drinking well now but not as good as the previous 3 times that I’ve had it. Excellent.
Distinctly herbal and slightly bretty nose with "bouquet de garrigue", saddle leather and dried tea-leaves, a bit like sangiovese. Elegant aromatics, refreshing acidity, harmonious proportions, medium grip and weight. 14% alcohol at the most. Drinks nicely at the moment, probably no upside in further cellaring. Always like the style here...
I opened this bottle right from the cellar. The color was a medium ruby. The nose was beginning to open. There was no trace of sediment in the bottle like other years! The flavors of red fruit and guarigue were medium to light. I did notice that the flavors began to fade after being open two hours. Drink them up as they seem to be in their prime. EG WineArchitect, #Rhone, #Le Vieux Donjon
Here we go again! This bottle was drinking perfect. It seems to be that when my ratings for these wines are bad, there are more views. Why? Well, this is a good review, I am sad to say and this bottle was drinking perfectly. No age, like other bottles and solid cherry fruit core without maderized friut. Every 2004 should drink like this bottles. Guarigue was a bit on the low side as compared to other years. Bottle variation occurs. EG WineArchitect, #Rhone, #Le Vieux Donjon
Splash decanted and follwed over several hours. Ripe fruit with a cherry liquor profile, spicy, with a touch of barnyard and later a distinct animal character. Dry palate with nice kirsch and spice, but a little bitter with strong sandlewood. Fine woody gritty finish with earth and spice and dried fruit. Quite tannic. Not quite ready, but very close. 92-93
Brought up from the cellar and allowed to comed to room temp. Opened as our second bottle with dinner and first bouquet from bottle was right on the money. I was concerned about early advancement, but not with this bottle. One the mark with aromeas as well as flavors. Nice guariugue in the mouth with nose of black cherry fruits and smoke. Aging as nicely as I could expect for a 2004. This is why I love this wine. EG WineArchitect #wine
Half bottle. Medium color. There is a funny chemical, ethyl acetate note which runs through the wine but does not ruin it. Beyond or beneath that, lighter style, crisp acidity, tart red fruit, green olive and a host of herbs. Quite powerful in the mouth because of the acidity. Good traditional Chateauneuf and very true to Vieux Donjon-savory, complex, not too lush or overblown. I bet that better bottles exist. Reminiscent of '99 in its leaner, greener style.
Decanted for an hour and a half to have with beef stew. Drank over the course of two hours. Aroma has significant leather, as well as some tart cherry and blueberry. Taste has muted fruit of blueberry and blackberry as well as tobacco and a bit of chocolate. Finish is a bit short, with some acidity and mild tannins. It didn't seem to be altogether, but after three hours in the decanter, this really started to hit its stride, though. I would recommend a decant of at least 3 hours before drinking at this point. It certainly seems to show potential for future dividends.
I was looking for a wine to add to the chilli, and this was a good candidate. Nose predominantly of alcohol on first opening. Initial impression...where's the fruit? It's like the bottom fell out of this wine, leaving wood, alcohol, and a thin layer of fruit somewhere. Could it be bottle variation? Sure. I have a few more, but for now, this one's fine for cooking. Light bodied, if that's what you're after. At least now I know not to gift this.
Really nice showing. Red with slight bricking. Nice nose with dark fruits, a slight whiff of barnyard, and spice. Palate of cherry, licorice, plum. Great balance, tannins still evident but only after a while in the decanter. Clean finish. A lighter wine than normal for VD, but excellent.
Good showing. Begins with a very clear, pure presentation of CdP fruit, red fruits with hints of incense, light garrigue and complicated by notes of forest growth. The characteristic Donjon attributes of melted truffle and browner, animal notes are minimal at this point; this is more about a linear, still primary-fruited palate. While primary, it is tapered in attack and well-defined. The tannins seems to be hidden or absorbed by the fruit, until after a few hours of air when the tannins begin to emerge. No degradation overnight, the wine is still precise, showing a beam of clean red fruit, and gone are the foresty complications. The tannins are fine and sweet on the second night. Overall, a really pleasing CdP. Less "brown" than the 98/00/01 Donjons tend to show, which is not to suggest baked fruit, but rather that truffly, earthy, horsey, animal thing that seems to typify Donjon across multiple vintages, although there were hints of that on the first night. Just a lovely, suave, pure CdP. More a natural ballerina than a flashy hip hop dancer.
Popped and poured. Clear garnet. Nose of leather, smoke, black cherry, and licorice. Medium palate of ripe black cherry, intense pepper, meat, and noticeable alcohol. Excellent length. Lowish acidity. Mild tannins.
Decanted for 30' before trying it, then 2 glasses over the next 90'. It has an unremarkable color, typical for its age. The nose and the wine got better over time, eventually revealing some dark fruit with hints of garrigue, licorice, kelp, and pepper. Texture is a high point, very smooth. Wait (2-3 years), decant, then wait some more.
Drinking well for someone interested in well settled primary characteristics, but no secondary development yet. Decanted for just over 90 minutes. White pepper, black currant and violets fold into a silky finish that lasts over 20 seconds. If you're looking for a smoked meat, tobacco and earth CDP...this may get there....but my guess is it'll be another 3-4 years.
Drinking very well now. Good nose of bramble and dark fruit, more dark fruit on a medium palate, good clean finish. Complements food very well, did great with Salmon, and is also very nice by itself. A very pleasant bottle for a winter evening, not a star.
Opened and served right away. Medium ruby red in colour. Musty nose with beautiful cool red fruits with hints of mushroom and barnyard funk. Lots of bright red fruits in the mouth with a silky texture. Perfectly balanced yet still youthful with loads of acidity and some tannins and a lengthy finish. Very nice to drink now but patience will be rewarded. Try again in 5+ years. Excellent. 91+
Reading the other notes, I think this was a flawed bottle. Tons of Brett on the nose with some dark fruit underneath. Palate was nice with dark, plummy fruit and spicy earth. Nice structure and acidity. I could sense the quality here, but the Brett-bomb nose killed it for me.
Judging by the other reviews I must have had a less-than-pristine bottle. This had a very significant amount of volatile acidity. The nose was nice and floral, but the palate was relatively thin. Nonetheless, it was a nice wine -- but the volatile acidity was very out of character. In a blind tasting I might have guessed it was a mid-range Spanish wine or maybe a Musar from a lesser vintage. Odd.
Awesome nose...super aromatic with CdP fragrances, albeit little if any meat/bacon/funk. Deeply perfumed. Unfortunately, the palate doesn't match the promise, and seems relatively thin in comparison. To be fair, this was served on a night with multiple California syrahs, so the field in general was very full bodied.
Pleasing, elegant CdP, not a "tour de force" and without "gobs of fruit", which means that to my palate, this wine is just fine. The fruit is very clean, with cherry and a core of red raspberry, cocoa, and a bit of rusticity around the edges. Opens up by the second night, broadens horizontally on the palate as well as vertically with additional depth of fruit, garrigue, and the trademark Donjon attribute of melted black truffle, brown spice and animal fur. The tannin also comes out more on the second night, suggesting that any initial impression of weakness or lack of fortitude may be premature. Drink now with a decant or let it age for a few more years.
Light ruby color. Opened from the cellar with a light bouquet of cherry and a touch of guarigue. I expected more power from this year of this wine. Allowed to decant overnight and the wine only opened to reveal a tiny bit more cherry nose. The weight in the mouth also only came up slightly. I wonder if it will open up more with age? EG WineArchitect
Drinking well, just not a lot of stuff going on relative to other vintages. Perfectly pleasant wine with food, lighter than usual, good flavor profile, clean finish. No oomph. Drinks well with grilled salmon, I don't believe it would hold up well to a real meat dish.
Beautiful dark purple color, opaque throughout. Popped and poured. Initial nose of leather, meat and floral. Palate is similar with addition of some dark fruits. This is well balanced and the tannins have integrated nicely for a velvety smooth mouthfeel. Not enough history with CdP to know whether this will improve, but my gut says yes. Although, it is beautiful now and I wish I had more.
Popped and poured. Nose: Big white pepper and garrique with some other spices and herbs present. Palate: Fairly rich mouthfeel with the white pepper, spice and herbs showing and some faint red fruits on the finish. Good acidity that integrates with the fruit with air and becomes less dominant. Good tannins and a medium length finish. Not the most massive Donjon but drinking well now and probably has another 3-5 years (unless you like your CDPs really aged). Based on other Donjon vintages good but not great.
My first notes on this year of this wine. Out of the cellar, cold, the wine's bouquet was filled with tart cherry and herbs de provence. The color was a clear medium ruby. The mouth was filled with the same but also a Cumin like character. It made a bold statement for a Vieux Donjon! Even on the second day the wine exhibited similar characteristics.
Trish's wine. Decanted for 30 min, but could have used several hours. Quite young-tasting, with red fruit and earth. The Grenache is definitely front and center, with some structure coming in from the other varietal(s). I have no idea what the blend is...Tart cherry on the finish, this went well with our beef main course, but was a chore to drink without food.
Very impressive, and I loved that it became move complex as we moved through the evening, not as intense as the 2007 we had alongside, but perhaps a touch more elegant - Dark red, medium/full bodied with a nose of cherry, plum, cinammon spice, pepper and vanilla, very balanced, complex and velvety smooth on the palate with excellent length (91 Points).
Surprisingly nice to drink, not in any kind of closed stage. Not to say it won't evolve, but this wine drinks nicely now. The nose needs maybe half an hour of air to reveal the complexity, but once it does, many layers: sandalwood, clove or nutmeg, rosemary or oregano then fruit, hint of menthol. Long palate that adds earth notes and cherry flavors to lots of grip. Long deep finish.
I decanted the wine for 2 1/2 hours before I poured it back into the bottle and consumed it over three evenings (vacuum-pumped). The wine was rather limited on the nose on day one, but opened up over night, then showing an incredible nose with lots of raspberries, cherry, lavender, Hoisin sauce, herbs and spices as well as campfire smoke.
The experience on the palate was quite similar; on day one the fruit was somewhat subdued, I predominantly got herbs and spices and a hint of tobacco on the back-end. But the wine opened up over night and became very concentrated on the palate, with cherry, dark fruits, leather, herbs and a hint of tobacco. Surprisingly, the wine was a little short and flat on the finish, and was a little hot from the alcohol. The wine got more and more balanced over time though.
To me the wine is drinkable now, but even after serious decanting was still not able to show its best. I will not touch my remaining bottles for at least another two or three years as this wine is good now, but will most likely be great in a few years.
Decanted for 3 hours. Gave it a swirl and taste at the pour and the nose was super tight (as others have mentioned) with hints of raspberry, florals and cherry. That was it. In the glass it was a really beautiful ruby with a hint of amber at the edge. After the decant it opend up quite a bit and the nose was vastly more complex with raspberry, red cherries, herbs, leather, anise, lavender and some dark fruit. Really nice! On the palate it had a really focused flavor profile of juicy raspberres - the kinds that are bursting when you bite into them, juicy red cherries, soy, lavender, herbs, cocoa and smoke. The fruit was wonderful with a bright and refreshing acidity balanced with firm and well integrated tannins. It had a really nice balance and complexity to it with a pretty long finish of the entire flavor profile with a touch of white pepper heat thrown in. The heat was a bit out of wack at the end but I see this diminishing with some age on it. This is really an outstanding CDP and I am glad I have more. This has got some significant life in it and I am going to let the remaining bottles sleep awhile. Won't touch the next one for 3-5 years. 50+5+13+17+8=93
Deep ruby throughout. Fantastic nose of cherries, provencial herbs, and Korean soy sauce. Lithe body and wonderful mouthfeel of raspberries and sour cherries, leather, kirsch, and slight licorice. Slight oakiness/cedar throughout, but loses some balance by being just a touch hot. Another couple of years and this may be in the sweet spot.
(2+) Drank at Dad’s with Mom, Mike & Elizabeth. Didn’t decant for long, maybe needed more time in the decanter and/or more age. Quite floral with some brett on the nose and a hint of grapefruit on the palate. Very nice but was expecting more.
Popped and poured. Garnet hue. Initially showing a little tight, took about 2 hours to open up. Aromas of raspberry, kirsch, provencal herbs, earth, and lavender. Medium body, shows nice flavor depth with unobtrusive tannins with a classic Chateauneuf flavor profile of red fruits, French herb garden, and some mineral notes. Not a big wine, rather more elegant and charming in a rustic way. I would say hold for another 12-16 months, should be open for business.
Popped and let my first glass sit for about 30 mins. Nose was pretty darn stingy at first, giving up just a hint of herbs, kirsch, and raspberries. Fairly structured on the palate--fruit, acid, and a little bit of a stranglehold on your tongue from the tannins. I fully expected this wine to open up but it never really did. Maybe I just didn't give it enough time or maybe it's not ready. Even at more than two hours in, the nose was still fighting to give anything up (kind of like my high school girlfriend). Some strawberries, sweetness, and bitter chocolate (maybe was just the tannin) made an appearance and gave me a glimpse of what could be, but without a ton of CdP experience I may have just drank it too early. It's a well made Old World wine--it just lacked a knockout punch (which my high school girlfriend definitely had:). 90pts.
Dark red. Dark fruit profile on the nose with some leather, herbs, and smoke. Good complexity and interesting. Medium to full body on the palate with good balance and lively acidity. Moderate tannin and good length to the finish. A very enjoyable wine that will certainly improve with a few years in the cellar.
Drunk in a vertical with 1998, 2000, 2003. Suffered in comparison to the 1998 in that it does not have that weight, but a pretty nose and a lighter than usual palate for this producer; worked very well with food, less impressive on its own.
Still a too young to drink at this point, however I wanted to see what was going on. A classic nose of kirsch, raspberry & herb. Lovely raspberry fruit that is lush & open. The sharp tannins kick in on the finish. A keeper!
Drank at Five Sails – Opened, poured into decanter, and served right away. Drank over 2 hours. Great nose of roasted meat, funk and underlying light fruit. As it opened up the nose got even more funky. Very nice. Flavours of raspberries, bitter chocolate and dark cherries. Firm tannins. 20 second finish. Enjoyable now but will reward 5+ years of cellaring. 91+
Smoother and lighter than I expected; I would have expected more spice, power and depth. There is a fair amount of tannin, but keep going back to have smooth, accessable and light the wine seemed. The 2001 I had last month was so much more in all areas...
Purple. Sweet and juicy start. Full bodied, cherries, blackberries and some raspberry. A lot of concentration and alcohol. Flint stone. Round and juicy wine which is not immense complex but beautiful and still very young. Will probably gain some points in the future.
Drank over two day and while not at the level of the previous bottle, is still outstanding with plenty of kirsch, herbs de provence, licorce, underbrush and potpourri aromas on the nose. Medium bodied with pure fruit, this is certainly lacking some concentration but comes through with beautiful balance, a smooth texture and a medium length finish with silky tannins.
Decanted for 30 minutes prior to consumption. To me, this wine is more about structure and intensity of and pinpoint flavor than sheer weight and power. Fragrant and striking nose reveals herbs, kirsch, plums, and black licorice, along with hints of barnyard and spice. The medium bodied palate shows firmer and more brooding than the nose suggests with a core of spicy and lavish dark fruits, a swath of acidity through the middle, and impressive purity and length. This possesses the structure and raw materials to suggest improvement/evolution with additional age, but I found this bottle approachable, expressive, and drinking nicely at present. Highly recommended.
Clear ruby with purple reflections. Interesting, smokey bacon nose, with considerable barnyard that largely blew off. but still very vinous. Spice, mineral, plum and tart cherry on the round palate, with moderately firm but sweet tannins, and considerable acidity. A bit of barnyard reappears on the relatively short and fruity finish. This wine should age well and develop some nice nuance. Shows more short-term depth and promise than the 2005, but I still wouldn't open this for at least three more years.
Camille's notes (blind) The Thunder Show on Aug. 26 Decanted 4 hours, but still did way better on the next day. Garnet color. Lots of sour cherry, plum, spice box on the nose, with tart cherry, massive acidity and gripping tannins on the palate. Clashed with food a bit more than the Domaine du Pegau 2004. 90 pts. now, but still closed. Potential for 92+ in the future. Camille's guess, CdP.
Exploring Chateauneuf-du-Pape @ Peter Z. (Belgium): Purple in the edge. Inviting nose of forest floor, blueberries, hazelnuts and flint. Palate is dominated by fresh red fruit and a soft but supportive tannic structure. Some alcoholic heat in the back. A good wine, not very complex though. 15.5/20
Lovely wine. From the moment the wine was poured (no decanting), this exuded a gorgeous note of raspberry followed by a spicy, dark, dusky core. The palate was powerful, brooding, quite structured and dry at this stage, but lovely, nothing out of place. The best was the finish, miles long, just exploding with Provencale herbs, faintly peppery as well, long and beautiful. Not a hedonistic wine at this stage but still very enjoyable nonetheless and an incredibly pure, structured example of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Methinks I need to buy and taste more wine from this estate.
Decanted for a hour on a warm night and still needed more. Alcohol blocked flavor. Recommend cellar a while longer.. Tasted after about 3 hours and really started to shine. Light fruity, spicy taste a tiny bit candied. Tannins were nicely managed. Trying to buy some more for consumption in 3-4 years.
Decanted for just one hour. Nice CdP barnyard, spicey funk on the nose. Hits the mouth with juicy red fruit and wonderfully managed tannins. Wow! Can't wait to revisit in two or three years. Paired with roasted rosemary/garlic tri tip.
Shows a big, fragrant nose of kirsch, provencal herbs, earth, licorice and sweet incense notes. Just love the nose. The palate is medium bodied with beautiful sweet fruit, medium concentration, nice balance and an almost silky texture. This firmed up with some air and showed sweet, fine grained tannins on the finish. This doesn't seem to have the backbone of the top 04s but is almost elegant, subtle and drinking surprisingly well.
Estery, slightly candied nose. Very rich, young and primary, with lots of sweet dark fruit on the palate. This is pretty huge, and really just too jammy/sweet for my taste. I guessed California, and was kind of shocked that this is a VD. Wonder what this will taste like when it settles down? Tasted blind.
Popped and poured - then slow oxygenation. Once this gets a couple years on it, I believe this will be a classic wine. Muted, but complex nose of tar, black licorice and herbs. Nose is somewhat reminsicent of a nebbiolo. Black, brooding, dark black fruit just explodes like the juice inside one of those old Hubba Bubba gums with the liquid center. So smooth and lush, the finish goes on and on.
Bright ruby color. Decanted for 3 hours prior to tasting. We tasted this double blind for the first glass - it seemed like an amazing Pinot Noir at the time. Wasn't even thinking of CdP. Nose was very delicate with some cherry, and mineral aromas. Flavors of cherry with some smoke and game. Incredible mouthfeel, and a seemless progression through the mid-palate to the finish which lasted for close to a minute. None of us in the group had tasted a quality CdP before, and we are all life long fans due to this bottle. This paired incredibly well with bison steaks seasoned with a little garlic and onion. Pairings just don't get much better than that. Unanimous WOTN.
Closing down... This was 92-95 when tasted four months ago. It was medium bodied, long, and subtle. Now it's feeling dark, austere & tannic, and upon decanting - simply peppery without any of the expected grenache fruit.
This is a darn shame. The 2004 Donjon was so exciting as a young star, one of the very best among the 2004 CdP's. The only stronger one I've tasted is the Cuvee du Quet... which I hope stays tame all throughout its' aging process.
still young purple. after 4 hours in the decanter this is still showing a margerine container nose. but the fruit has opened up, very clean red cherry, blueberry, garaguire, and spices, the wine was very nice with our grilled bbq steak. it is coming around but I just do not get much power and weight, maybe the 2003's have spoiled me. very well made it certainly needs some bottle age. I may normally drink these later in life, so my comments may not be fair, but just do not see this in the 90/01 camp.
2004 Chateauneuf du Pape (Great Wine Buys): Beautiful vanilla and light fruit nose. Dark cherries and light berry (strawberry?) on the palate. Nice, but disappointingly short finish. Red Rhone Blend - primarily grenache.
Tasted side by side with the 2004 Clos des Papes Chateauneuf-du-Pape (see TN). The nose on the Vieux Donjon was slightly more espressive, with notes of potpourri / baking spices, licorice and red / black fruit. It has a slightly overripe / liquor element that made me give the nod to Avril's wine today (not that it was a contest), as it seems better balanced and more pure / clean, overall. That said, obviously, both are very young and just arrived in the US... I look forward to revisiting both in the future...
Dinner at 112 Eatery (Chave, Beaucastel, Pegau, Voge, Donjon, and others): Tasted side-by-side with the 2004 Clos des Papes. Wow is this bottle showing well. The nose is classic Vieux Donjon, showing dark fruit, smoke, and an earthy garrigue. On the palate this is medium bodied with plenty of dark fruit, and an enjoyable earthiness. This shows good structure, some tannin, and a great finish. This is a great wine to cellar, although we all tended to think it would shut down in the near future. I preferred this to the 2004 Clos des Papes for drinking at this point -- although Steve and Ben disagreed with me.
Tasted side-by-side with the 2004 Clos des Papes. This was more brooding than the CdP, showing black as opposed to red fruits. Provencal herbs, pepper, earth, and a touch of tobacco. Lots of structure and tannin. This is an excellent wine that is closing down and needs to sleep; give it plenty of air if you open one now.
Consumed unblinded at the Vintage Wines, Ltd. wine bar. Bright disc. Medium ruby robe with red rim. Clean nose, showing moderately intense aromas of black pepper, cherries and herbs. Relatively light-bodied on the palate, with a thin mouth texture, medium acidity and light-to-medium, dry tannins. The flavors mirror the nose. Short, coarse finish. Disappointing and, to my palate, not typical of the beautiful bottlings of the previous good vintage years. This was also the consensus of the tasting group.