I've been raiding the cellar lately for some older bottles to make way for some newer things and the latest to give up its cork was a 2000 Le Vieux Donjon Chateaueuf-du-Pape. There was a tri-tip beef roast with a black peppercorn and cream sauce and a potato Anna working their way to completion to go with the wine. The cork came out and the wine was an immediate winner.
Medium color with some browning at the edges let me know this wine was mature. Wonderful nose of red fruits, fresh dry leather and a little bit of meat, earth and spice. There was nothing reticent about the nose, it was prominent and filled the glass and the room.
The mouth feel was not overwhelming, but the flavors were clean, sharp and focused with the cherry fruit singing a wonderful tune. Great tannin and acid balanced this wine out. The wine was initially sweet in the mouth but turned more savory toward the finish, making it a great match with the beef.
With a little air time the wine bloomed even more. This was a wine I could sit and smell all night, but having said that it tasted just as good as it smelled.
I can't imagine this wine being any better with additional age. It came from a time and vintage before Chateauneuf-du-Pape seemed to go over the top in alcohol and extract and ripeness. There was restraint and a little subtlety here and I liked that.
13.5% alcohol and an original price sticker of $40.