The place for all things wine, focused on serious wine discussions.
User avatar
User

Bill Spohn

Rank

He put the 'bar' in 'barrister'

Posts

6495

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:31 pm

Location

Vancouver BC

WTN: Vieux Donjon Vertical

by Bill Spohn » Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:09 pm

Notes from a Vieux Donjon vertical tasting dinner at a local restaurant.

2017 Chante Cigale Extrait blanc – mid golden colour, and a nose of honeysuckle and peach, smooth and long on palate with a hint of marzipan in the finish. Very good. (We couldn't find a bottle of Donjon blanc)

1990 – light garnet colour, not notably browning at the edges, and a typical lightly funky with black pepper nose with some herbal content and a long smooth finish. Almost elegant now, this was my wine of the night. Classic.

1995 – darker wine with orange edges, and with definite garrigue and a very pleasant floral component (violets?) in the nose. Fully resolved and presenting a smooth polished impression with medium long finish.

1998 – riper spicy nose with raspberry and cassis, excellent fruit levels and still showing a lot of soft tannin. A very good show, and would have been my WOTN had the 1990 not eclipsed it. I tasted this on release and promptly bought two cases and this tasting confirms my early judgement of it. I intend to tuck into this in a major way from now on.

2001 – significantly funky nose (in a good way) with herbs (thyme?) and red fruit, a tad jammy but not to excess. In the mouth some lovely pure fruit notes and a smooth clean finish. I haven’t opened any of my own stash yet, but after this it will be hard not to yield to temptation.

2004 – decidedly odd nose – a spoiled bottle that we were unable to assess.

2005 – with this vintage we were back to pepper and light fruit, but also some heat, a bit briny on palate. Decent but not particularly endearing.

2006 – slightly hot nose, but good fruit on palate and no heat, medium bodied, medium length. Workmanlike presentation.

2007 – I went out and bought a bottle of this on release to see if it was going to be a ‘bad’, i.e. over ripe fruit bomb wine, or a ‘good’ Chateauneuf with balance but without the ripeness and heat of many other examples in this vintage. I concluded at that time that this would be one of the ‘good’ wines and bought a case. I now wonder if I wasn’t in error as what we saw here was a dark sweet wine with some good elements in both nose (herbal, plumy fruit etc.) but overshadowed by the ripeness on palate and an almost roasted impression. I will reserve final judgement on this wine and will live in hope that these issues may resolve by the time I retaste it, maybe five years hence.

2008 – cooler year and that showed in the nose which was mainly a smoky red fruit based one with some coffee hints. The mocha notes persisted into the finish. Drinking well now with very decent concentration and length, this was the best wine tasted since the 2001.

2009 – coffee and kirsch in the nose and on palate good fruit, ending with medium length. Very decent.

2010 – odd sweet nougat and rubber nose, but aside from that the fruit wasn’t at all roasted and the tannins were still firm but not overly hard. This may turn out quite well given some more time. Very tasty now, but resist the urge.

2017 – a quick look at this recently released vintage. Sweet nose of cassis and middling ripe fruit on palate, this is surprisingly drinkable, but doing so may deprive you of later pleasure when it smooths out and develops some secondary characteristics. It surprises me that some critics say to drink as soon as three or four years from now – I wouldn’t touch it for a decade.

This was a great tasting that highlighted my stylistic preferences for the older well aged and complex vintages over the new style of very ripe fruit bombs that often show as slightly roasted. I have a hard time understanding how critics that rated the 1990s vintages highly could do the same for those in the next decade as they are so stylistically at variance. When I say that several of the ripe 2000s vintages would find favour with those who love Australian Shiraz, that is not a compliment. We will see what the future holds. Hopefully the 2015 and 2016, which I own, will turn out well.

Must do a similar retrospective tasting of some other properties – Pegau, Vieux Telegraphe, Beaucastel....

I've done this same vertical sort of tasting in years past, but this time I must thank my friend David Cooper for arranging the event.
no avatar
User

Jim Grow

Rank

Wine guru

Posts

1170

Joined

Sun Mar 26, 2006 11:31 am

Location

Rockbridge Ohio

Re: WTN: Vieux Donjon Vertical

by Jim Grow » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:15 pm

I'm surprised Bill that the vertical did not include a 2016, probably the greatest vintage since 2007 and one of which I am heavily invested but not with DonJon. Nice notes and I wish I was younger and could hang on to my 2016's for 10+ years.
User avatar
User

Bill Spohn

Rank

He put the 'bar' in 'barrister'

Posts

6495

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:31 pm

Location

Vancouver BC

Re: WTN: Vieux Donjon Vertical

by Bill Spohn » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:18 pm

We had more wines than people already and some were driving, otherwise we might have added a couple more.

I am sitting on a case of the 2016, so trust that you are right!
User avatar
User

David M. Bueker

Rank

Riesling Guru

Posts

28829

Joined

Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:52 am

Location

Connecticut

Re: WTN: Vieux Donjon Vertical

by David M. Bueker » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:27 pm

Jim Grow wrote:I'm surprised Bill that the vertical did not include a 2016, probably the greatest vintage since 2007 and one of which I am heavily invested but not with DonJon. Nice notes and I wish I was younger and could hang on to my 2016's for 10+ years.


Beg to differ on 2007 being “great.” It’s rich, sweet and hot.
Democracy dies in the Senate
User avatar
User

Bill Spohn

Rank

He put the 'bar' in 'barrister'

Posts

6495

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:31 pm

Location

Vancouver BC

Re: WTN: Vieux Donjon Vertical

by Bill Spohn » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:31 pm

Generally speaking David is right. Balanced wines in 2007 were the exception. I had thought Donjon to be one of those but it appears that I may have been wrong.
User avatar
User

Jenise

Rank

FLDG Dishwasher

Posts

34271

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:45 pm

Location

The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: WTN: Vieux Donjon Vertical

by Jenise » Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:33 pm

David M. Bueker wrote:
Jim Grow wrote:I'm surprised Bill that the vertical did not include a 2016, probably the greatest vintage since 2007 and one of which I am heavily invested but not with DonJon. Nice notes and I wish I was younger and could hang on to my 2016's for 10+ years.


Beg to differ on 2007 being “great.” It’s rich, sweet and hot.


Agreed. The term "Californicated" was never more apt.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
User avatar
User

Jenise

Rank

FLDG Dishwasher

Posts

34271

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:45 pm

Location

The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: WTN: Vieux Donjon Vertical

by Jenise » Fri Jan 17, 2020 3:24 pm

Without referring back to my notes, cuz my notebook is missing:

2017 Chante Cigale Extrait blanc – loved this white. 80% roussanne IIRC? Nearly every time I luck into a white Southern Rhone, I love it and regret deeply that they're not easier to locate on this side of the pond. This is another such wine.

1990 – my WOTN as well for the reasons you say. And with the elk tartare? Best wine/food match of the night, too.

1995 – Agreed.

1998 – Again, agreed. Was surprised to find the accent on the ripeness as well as less obvious acidity, seems a little disproportionate with the last version of this wine I recall having.

2001 – After the first three which were collectively so much softer, this one was a surprise. Seemed markedly younger and the tannins had good grip.

2004 – Soy sauce.

2005 – "Decent but not particularly endearing" sums it up well. Was overtly ripe with pronounced oak--first year for Philippe Cambie, right?

2006 – I didn't find the heat on this at all, but a great blend of acidity and the spice tea notes I so love in Donjons and this vintage.
Honestly, if you were tasting blind and tasked with putting a bookmark between all the vintages to show the dividing line of pre-Cambie and post-Cambie, I think you'd put this before the '05 in the pre-Cambie group. It had more in common with the '90-'01 than it does with the rest.

2007 – When they were released, I went to a tasting of '07 CdP's and roundly despised them all but for the Donjon and Vieux Telegraphe, which I bought but haven't touched. On Tuesday night, as I suspected might happen among a group from saner vintages, the heat of the vintage is now obvious it didn't seem at that other tasting. Nose is dominated by the smell of roasting coffee beans with a bit of asphalt in the overtly ripe fruit. Did not like.

2008 – I preferred the 06 to the 08, but agree this was refreshing after the '07.

2009 – This had a lot of the same hot vintage aspects as the '07, but in minor ways that allowed it to present as balanced, integrated and likable.

2010 – Agreed: this may turn out quite well given some more time. Not ready yet.

2017 – Can't improve on your observations, here.

"Must do a similar retrospective tasting of some other properties – Pegau, Vieux Telegraphe, Beaucastel...." Sign me up!
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
User avatar
User

Bill Spohn

Rank

He put the 'bar' in 'barrister'

Posts

6495

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 7:31 pm

Location

Vancouver BC

Re: WTN: Vieux Donjon Vertical

by Bill Spohn » Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:15 pm

Jenise wrote:"Must do a similar retrospective tasting of some other properties – Pegau, Vieux Telegraphe, Beaucastel...." Sign me up!


Good comments, Jenise.

And verticals are always fun and instructive - we'll have to set up another one sometime. maybe at the same venue.
User avatar
User

Jenise

Rank

FLDG Dishwasher

Posts

34271

Joined

Tue Mar 21, 2006 2:45 pm

Location

The Pacific Northest Westest

Re: WTN: Vieux Donjon Vertical

by Jenise » Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:50 pm

I agree! Enjoyed the venue a lot. They really tried hard, and were a lot more prepared with glassware and decanters than I expected based on Dave's advisory. I suspect that they went and bought more of everything, just to do it right. Pretty classy, especially for a place where Birkenstocks would be as acceptable as your Cole Haans.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Dale Williams, Glenn Mackles, Google Adsense [Bot], Majestic-12 [Bot] and 48 guests

Powered by phpBB ® | phpBB3 Style by KomiDesign