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Best Price on a Potential 97-Point Triumph from Vieux Donjon - 02/09/2018 - Rhone Valley

This is one of those offers where you need to stop everything and act immediately, as it is very well could be the best Châteauneuf buy of 2018. Earning a banded score of 95 to 97 points from Jeb Dunnuck and at a market low price of $44.99, the 2016 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a blockbuster value that every Rhône fan should own. As Dunnuck notes in his glowing review, this 2016 stands to be among the best ever from this legendary estate with a profile that echoes the legendary 1998 bottling “with its huge, full-bodied, unctuous texture.” As we (and the critics) have been saying, the 2016 vintage is off-the-hook, delivering spectacular wines that are on par with some of the best out of the Rhône Valley. The last vintage we’ve seen with such universal regard was 2010. Unlike the 2010s however, the 2016s are very attractively priced. By comparison, you’ll pay upwards of $70 for the 2010 Le Vieux Donjon - making the value here incontrovertible. Our pre-arrival price is super sharp, but given the sterling press and point, we expect any subsequent releases to see an increase. Now is definitely the time to secure this epic 2016, which is sure to provide profound drinking pleasure for the next 20-plus years.

Vintage Item Name Score Retail Link
2016 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival) 98 $44.99 View
2016 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape(1.5L) (Pre-Arrival) 97 $89.99 View


2016 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival) ($44.99)

98 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is unquestionably the greatest wine made from this estate to date and surpasses the 1998, 2007, and 2010. Checking in as a normal blend of 75% Grenache, 10% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre, and the balance Cinsault, it offers a heavenly bouquet of blackcurrants, ground pepper, new saddle leather, garrigue, and an assortment of exotic spices. Deep, full-bodied, incredibly concentrated, yet with the purity, elegance, and finesse that makes this vintage so special, it can be drunk any time over the coming two decades or more. Bravo!" (08/2018)

95 points Vinous: "Vivid ruby-red. An exotically perfumed, expressive nose evokes ripe cherry and black raspberry, and cola, licorice and floral pastille notes add complexity. Shows impressive depth as well as energy on the palate, offering sweet dark fruit, lavender and spicecake flavors supported by a spine of juicy acidity. In a suave, graceful style for the vintage, showing outstanding clarity and a sexy floral nuance on the strikingly long finish, which features harmonious tannins and a sneaky mineral quality. (JR)" (07/2018)

95 points Wine & Spirits: "Sister-brother team Claire Michel Fabre and François Michel have run this estate together since 2012, taking over from their father, the legendary Lucien Michel. Working with 40 acres of vines, some planted as far back as 1900, theyve turned out an exceptional 2016. Mostly grenache, blended with a range of the other 12 red and white varieties allowed in the appellation, it unfurls like silk across the palate. First come the cherry notes, red and black combined; then come scents of rosemary, sunburnt scrub and warm rocks that fill the wine with a deep savor. The tannins are firm and polished, giving shape to a wine that keeps offering new dimensions, and promises to hold well for another 10 or 20 years." (10/2018)

95 points Wine Spectator: "This offers a blitz of bay leaf and juniper notes out front, followed by a racy and tightly coiled core of red and black currant, damson plum and cherry fruit flavors. Lots of brisk iron and garrigue accents rifle through the finish. Clear, precise and streamlined, this should age wonderfully. (JM)" (09/2018)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate: "The full-bodied 2016 Chateauneuf du Pape is a solid effort. Blueberry, cherry and garrigue notes mark the nose, while the palate is firm but silky, with a fine balance between ripeness and grip. I've seen some internet criticism of this estate for moving to a riper, more modern style, but I don't understand thatunless good cellar hygiene is now considered a problem in certain circles. This is a relatively traditional, balanced example of Châteauneuf, with spicy, savory elements combined with generous fruit. A blend of 75% Grenache, 10% each Mourvèdre and Syrah and 5% Cinsault that weighs in at 14.8% alcohol, this foudre-aged wine should drink well for a couple of decades. It was a delight to visit Claire Michel and her brother, François Michel, at this family domaine in the village of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Both of their parents owned vineyards, so it's a decent-sized estate, with 16 hectares of vines (including a single hectare of white varieties). The first estate bottling took place in 1967, so the 2016 represents the 50th vintage. When François said the vintage is "a mix of 2009 and 2010," Claire chimed in to say, "Round like 2009," and François finished with "Structured like 2010." The white is a blend of Clairette and Roussanne that sees only stainless steel and never undergoes malolactic fermentation. The red is partially destemmed, fermented in concrete and aged in foudres. No 2008 was available for tasting, but I was offered the 2015 and 2010. I may have slightly" (08/2018)

94 points Decanter: "Fermented in concrete, then aged in foudre. No Cuvée Spéciale produced, just one wine. It's not terribly expressive on the nose at the moment. The palate is full and firm, a touch hard and tannic, though it should soften in time. Lovely weight and intensity though, showing real concentration and intensity of fruit, with a long finish. A muscular wine with real savoury thrust. Drinking Window 2020 - 2031. (MW)" (10/2017)

2016 Le Vieux Donjon Châteauneuf-du-Pape(1.5L) (Pre-Arrival) ($89.99)

95-97 points Jeb Dunnuck: "A wine thats going to be up with the finest vintage ever from this estate, the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape (75% Grenache, 10% each of Syrah and Mourvèdre, and the balance Cinsault) offers a southern Rhône smorgasbord of aromas and flavors including huge pepper, black raspberries, blackberries, new saddle leather and garrigue. Reminding me of the 1998 with its huge, full-bodied, unctuous texture and present tannin, its going to need 2-4 years of cellaring and keep for 15+." (10/2017)

95 points Vinous: "Vivid ruby-red. An exotically perfumed, expressive nose evokes ripe cherry and black raspberry, and cola, licorice and floral pastille notes add complexity. Shows impressive depth as well as energy on the palate, offering sweet dark fruit, lavender and spicecake flavors supported by a spine of juicy acidity. In a suave, graceful style for the vintage, showing outstanding clarity and a sexy floral nuance on the strikingly long finish, which features harmonious tannins and a sneaky mineral quality. (JR)" (07/2018)

94 points Decanter: "Fermented in concrete, then aged in foudre. No Cuvée Spéciale produced, just one wine. It's not terribly expressive on the nose at the moment. The palate is full and firm, a touch hard and tannic, though it should soften in time. Lovely weight and intensity though, showing real concentration and intensity of fruit, with a long finish. A muscular wine with real savoury thrust. Drinking Window 2020 - 2031.(MW)" (10/2017)