Deep red color. Aromas of black cherries, leather and spice. Ripe, medium-bodied fruit in the mouth with very good depth and length and well-integrated, ripe tannins. Very juicy and supple on the palate for such a young wine. A terrific effort in a challenging vintage and delicious with the grilled meats at Effie's Restaurant.
Tasted blind. Clear with medium garnet color. The nose is clean, developing, with aromas of red cherry, raspberry, black plum, blackberry and lavander. The palate is dry, but with plenty of sweet fruit. Medium acidity, medium (+) tannins and medium (+) alcohol. This wine is still very tight and young and I didn't pick up on all the complexity and tertiary development mentioned by others. It's fine now, but it likely to improve with several more years of aging.
I decanted this bottle for about 4 hours prior to serving and like other people's experience, it continued to open as we drank it. Great CDP. Spicy with that immediate pepper feel. Typical for Le Vieux Donjon, very leathery and earthy as well. Aromas of cherry and plum, some raspberry and licorice. Not as rich as I come to expect, but some years of aging should do this wine wonders.
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(Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape) Barrel sample (already blended, set to be bottled at end of March 2013) - dark ruby color; appealing, lifted, dried berry, brett, garrigue nose; tasty, classic traditional Chateauneuf, garrigue, dried berry, lavender, anise palate; could use 1 year and should go 15 years (i.e., likely to be one of the longer lived 2011s); medium-plus finish 92-93 points (75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre, 5% Cinsault)
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