Domain: Le Vieux Donjon
Domaine du Vieux Donjon is Châteauneuf is a brilliant example of a southern wine combining delicacy and elegance. The Michel family produces two cuvées, in only very small quantities; we’re pleased to be able to offer you a taste of this top-quality production.
This domain was created by Marcel Michel, father of Lucien Michel who is gradually passing the reins to his daughter Claire (who arrived in 2007). For many years, the vineyard sold its wines to the region’s powerful négociants but in 1966 the Michels started to bottle their own wine. Lucien Michel and his wife Marie-José took over the property in 1979. The Vieux Donjon vineyard covers 15 hectares, with 14 cultivated for red wine and just one for white. Two thirds of the red vines are planted on a classic terroir of galets roulés, with the remainder planted across a mix of terroirs. The average age of the vines is more than 50 although many of the Grenache vines are closer to 100! The Syrah and Mourvèdre vines are around 30 years old. Current cultivation techniques closely resemble organic practices and vinification is highly traditional but refrains from imposing a specific style. The grapes are de-stemmed meticulously, but only partially depending on the year, the juice is fermented with indigenous yeasts, vinification takes place in concrete vats and the wine is aged for 12 months in foudres. Nothing but classic will do for this very traditional Châteauneuf that is much in demand the world over (but only distributed in small quantities in France). Vieux Donjon wines are a must in this appellation and still sell at a reasonable price.