I have always loved this wine, and have scored it highly, but this was close to perfection. At the pinnacle of maturity, its bouquet nearly filled the room. Even though the wine is totally dry, it revealed extraordinary sweetness and richness as well as a full-bodied, powerful finish. This magnificent cuvée has never been better than it was on this occasion.
A big, ripe and full-bodied effort that’s fully mature, the 1990 Chateauneuf du Pape offers fabulous character and depth, and is about as classic as they comes. Showing an amber/mature color, it has loads of garrigue, spice meats, red currants, licorice and pepper as well as a rich, layered and seamless profile on the palate. It’s a thrilling wine, but it’s not going to get any better, so drink up.
Another bastillion of traditional Chateauneuf du Pape, Vieux Donjon is owned by Lucien and Marie Jose Michel, with the winemaking now firmly in the hands of their talented daughter, Claire Michel. They produce a single red and white Chateauneuf du Pape, with the red always a rough blend of 75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvedre and the balance a mix of other permitted varieties. They started partial destemming in 1993, pulling out the green stems and keeping the more lignified stems. Aging occurs all in concrete tanks and older foudre. This was a fabulous tasting with both Claire and her brother Francois, and as I hope the notes show, the wines have classic Chateauneuf du Pape character and broad drink windows.
The spectacular 1990 gets better every time I go back to it. Fully mature, yet seemingly capable of lasting another 8-10 years, it boasts a dark plum/garnet color in addition to a celestial bouquet of lavender and other Provencal herbs intermixed with licorice-infused cassis and black cherry liqueur. Powerful, full-bodied, unctuously textured, and loaded, there are no hard edges in this seamless, young classic. Don't miss it!