vieux donjon (michel lucien), chateauneuf-du-pape, rouge 2017
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
One of the few estates where the 2017 Chateauneuf du Pape actually eclipses the 2016, this is a top-flight effort. Black cherries and red raspberries combine with dried spices in a complex swirl of fruity and savory elements, garnished with sprigs of garrigue. Full-bodied, round and rich, this velvety wine should drink well through at least 2035.
Solidly built, with a core of warm plum and black cherry preserve flavors, enhanced by lavender, anise and black tea notes that flash throughout. Stays fresh and focused through the finish. Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre and Cinsault. Best from 2020 through 2035.
While it doesn't match the 2016, the 2017 Châteauneuf Du Pape is a beautiful, elegant wine that also makes the most of this terrific vintage. Deep, rich, yet fabulously pure notes of blackcurrants, ground pepper, garrigue, and crushed flowers all emerge from the glass, followed by medium to full body, a stacked mid-palate, flawless balance, and a great, great finish. It's still backward and holding things a little close to its vest, yet it's a magical wine in the making. Give bottles 3-5 years of cellaring (although it's far from unapproachable today) and enjoy over the following two decades. It's as classic as it gets. The 2017 is a classic blend of 60% Grenache, 20% Syrah, 15% Mourvèdre, and the balance Cinsault, brought up all in foudre.