"95 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1998, a classic in the making, is, along with the 1990, one of the two finest Vieux Donjons I have tasted. The backward 1998 offers aromas of incense, roasted herbs, lavender, licorice, and kirsch liqueur in a full-bodied, sweet, expansive, structured style...
96 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I underrated this 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape by several points. This immense, concentrated, majestic, old style offering boasts a dense ruby/purple color in addition to a gorgeous nose of licorice, tobacco, dried herbs, smoke, blackberries, cassis, and aged beef. Sensationally rich, ripe, full-bodied, and unctuous, with high levels of tannin, this is a classic vin de garde requiring another 2-4 years of cellaring. It should keep for 20-25 years. Issue #131 rating: 93
93 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape is a synthesis in style. A dense purple color is followed by a tight but promising nose of ripe blackberries and cherries intermixed with smoke, mineral, licorice, tapenade, and earth scents. On the palate, the wine is enormously endowed, full-bodied, with high tannin levels and low acidity. It cuts a broad swath, is very pure, and a true connoisseur's Chateauneuf du Pape in addition to being a vin de garde. Anticipated maturity: 2006-2020.
90-94 points, Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The outstanding 1998 Le Vieux Donjon could turn out to be a spectacular Chateauneuf du Pape that rivals the dazzlingly sumptuous 1990. The color is a saturated ruby/purple, and the wine is obviously made from extremely low yields and/or old vines. Knock-out aromas of smoke, spice, licorice, dried herbs, and black fruits jump from the glass of this full-bodied, powerfully constructed, unctuously-textured wine. A riveting mid-palate suggests superb intensity, concentration, and potential longevity. Think of this wine as blood of the Grenache! Its low acidity gives it a forward appeal, which will serve it well when released next year. It also possesses the power, stuffing, and concentration to last for 15+ years. A blockbuster! Importer: Alain Junguenet, Wines of France, Mountainside, NJ; tel. (908) 654-6173
93 points, Stephen Tanzer's IWC
Deep red. Spicy, deeply pitched aromas of fresh raspberry, pepper, cinnamon, gunflint and game. Thick, silky and compellingly sweet in the mouth, with liqueur-like flavors of raspberry, blackberry and game. Superripe but not over the top. Finishes very long, with fine, dusty tannins. Not the most complex or primary example of the vintage, but this could not be mistaken for anything but ripe-vintage Chateauneuf du Pape. (Alain Junguenet/Wines of France, Mountainside, NJ) 93 points
97 points, Wine Spectator
An explosive and racy Châteauneuf, bursting with roasted game, wild berry, grilled bread, dark chocolate and espresso character. Ripe and sweet-tasting, with enough opulent fruit to balance the firm tannin structure that rises like an impenetrable wall on the spectacular finish...