Domaine de Marcoux Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2008
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
With thirteen plots of land scattered in different parts of the designated Chateauneuf du Pape area, with an average age of 50 years. The grapes are harvested by maturity, which varies from one area to another within the Domaine. Harvesting is only done manually, and the grapes are sorted out directly in the vineyard. We bring the harvest back to the winery right after harvesting, in crates weighing approximately 50kg (110 pounds). Upon arrival, the grapes are de-stemmed, crushed and cooled off for pre-fermentation maceration.
Wine Spectator - "Solidly ripe, showing suave, rounded tannins that belie the profile of the vintage, with lovely layers of mulled plum, blackberry, fruitcake and melted licorice. There's a lingering whiff of black tea on the finish. An impressive effort for the vintage. Drink now through 2020."
International Wine Cellar - "Ruby-red. Lively aromas and flavors of raspberry, five-spice powder, herbs and lavender. Lush on entry then tighter in the middle, showing sweet red fruit flavors and a sexy note of candied flowers. Already harmonious and complex, with very good finishing cut and lingering florality."
Domaine de Marcoux Winery
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." View all Domaine de Marcoux Wines
About Chateauneuf-du-PapeView a map of Chateauneuf-du-Pape wineries (shah-too-NUHF due Pahp)Southern Rhone's landmark region, Chateauneuf du Pape, was the first region to gain AC status in France. That was the 1920s – it's history goes much further back than that. As the name suggests, the wine region was named after the "new papal home," referring to the period of time in the 1300's when the pope resided in Avignon instead of Rome.
Photo of galets covering the soil at Chateau de Beaucastel
Notable FactsThere are 13 allowed varieties in Chateauneuf du Pape (14 if you count Grenache Blanc separately from Grenache Noir). Grenache is the primary variety, followed by Syrah and Mourvedre as well as Cinsault. About 97% of the wines here are red, although many chateaux are producing whites ranging from quaffable to decadent and ageworthy. Reds from the best estates emit wonderful flavors of gamey spice, blackberries and currant, as well as the herbs and spices that are known to grow in the region.
Note on the soil: The grapes grow on soils covered in rounded, smooth stones called galets (gah-lay). The stones naturally cover most of the soils throughout Chateauneuf du Pape and are two fold in their duties. First, they are able to reflect and absorb the heat, to quicken the ripening of the grapes. They also help to hold in moisture so that the soils are not dried out by the hot Southern French sun.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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