Official French records indicate that the Armenier family has been tending vines in Châteauneuf-du-Pape since the 1300's. Today, winemaker-sisters Catherine Armenier and Sophie Estevenin continue to write history with the wines of Domaine de Marcoux.
In 1990, the Domaine became the first in the Châteauneuf-du-Pape to implement biodynamic farming practices. Their youngest vines are 40- to 60-years-old, and in short, the sisters do as little as possible to the harvested grapes. This domaine, as critic Stephen Tanzer put it, is "the essence of Châteauneuf-du-Pape."
In 2003, Robert Parker named Sophie and Catherine on his list of "Wine Personalities of Year," writing, "Over the last 12 years, the biodynamically farmed vineyard has risen to the top of Châteauneuf-du-Pape's quality hierarchy. The two red wines produced have been stunning, with the regular cuvée of Châteauneuf-du-Pape one of the finest in the appellation, and the limited production Cuvée Vieilles Vignes one of the world's truly magnificent wines."
"The 2007 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is a 4,000-bottle cuvee produced largely from old vine sites in Les Gallimardes, Charbonniere, La Crau, and occasionally, Esquirons. In most vintages, this offering includes 98% Grenache, and it usually tips the scales at 15+% alcohol. The opaque purple-colored 2007 reveals an extraordinary nose of black truffles, acacia flowers, black raspberries, blackberries, licorice, incense, and camphor. Full-bodied and extraordinarily intense with perfect balance as well as superb freshness, this profound effort requires 3-4 years of bottle age, and should keep for 20-25 years after its release next year.
The Wine Advocate
"Bright ruby-red. Intense aromas of raspberry, kirsch, pipe tobacco, incense and potpourri, with a strong peppery quality gaining power with air. Deep and creamy, with sweet raspberry, blackcurrant and lavender flavors underscored by smoky minerals and a hint of bitter cherry skin. Impressively concentrated but lively, with outstanding finishing clarity and cling. Sophie Estevenin told me that this wine clocks in at 17% alcohol, but there's no heat.
International Wine Cellar