This is the tale of two vintages. The 2016 Le Vieux Donjon Chateauneuf was the #8 Wine Spectator wine a few years ago.
It is a sensational wine from a great Rhone vintage.
With ten years of bottle age, the exact same wine from the 2011 vintage is a better choice for those who want to enjoy this phenomenal estate now and don't want to wait for years of cellaring.
In fact, the vintages are strikingly similar.
Both are textbook Chateauneuf. They have rich fruit, are fresh, and are terroir-driven. They are classic CDPs with robust black currant, plum, spice, leather, garrigue, and Provencal herbs. Instead of firm, muscular tannins (which you'll get in the 2016 vintage), you will enjoy balanced and silky tannins (in the 2011) that seamlessly integrate with the acidity and fruit.
This wine is a pleasure to consume today!
Yesterday, I cracked open a bottle of the 2011 Le Vieux Donjon to enjoy with my first barbecue of the season. It paired perfectly with everything from grilled corn, grilled asparagus, guacamole, grilled chicken, and more.
The corn was a bit early in the season, but the wine was a champ and still has plenty of body to age another five years.