One of the very best value, traditionally-styled Châteauneuf du Papes is the brilliant Vieux Donjon. The Domaine is owned by Lucien and Marie José Michel, with the winemaking now firmly in the hands of their talented daughter, Claire Michel – who cut her teeth at California’s Harlan Estate before taking over the family business. The wine is made in a voluptuous, traditional, but beautifully concentrated style with the potential to age for 15 or more years, particularly in the top vintages; we have tasted mature examples which have retained beautiful shape, fruit and structure.
A third of their Grenache vines are over 100 years old, and having vineyards in different parts of Chateauneuf brings extra complexity. The estate is organically farmed and using partially destemmed fruit is a key to bring fragrance and rusticity albeit in a polished way.