One of the reasons I’ve started this list with a trio of Chateauneuf producers is simply because they can help illustrate Grenaches’s various expressions. From the light, elegant style of Charvin to the often brooding, tough, old-school expression of Vieux Donjon. With about 75% of the blend comprised of Grenache, it’s a little surprising that Vieux Donjon can be so dark and so tough in its youth, but of course that reticent is just grumpy adolescence.
With some age, Vieux Donjon absolutely explodes with amazing aromatics: herbal and leathery, full of dried fruit and soil. It’s a wine that speaks as much about terroir and hands-off winemaking as it does about Grenache, but that’s part of the beauty of this wine.