Domaine de Marcoux Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2010
Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
The Chateauneuf-du-Pape Rouge is the "Classic Vintage" of Domaine Marcoux. In 1990, the Domaine became the first in the Chateauneuf-du-Pape to implement biodynamic farming practices. Their youngest vines are 40 to 60 years old, and in short, the winemaker-sisters Catherine Armenier and Sophie Estevenin do as little as possible to the harvested grapes. This domaine, as critic Stephen Tanzer put it, is "the essence of Châteauneuf-du-Pape."
Blend: 74% Grenache, 14% Mourvedre, 9% Syrah, 3% Cinsault
The Wine Advocate - "The 2010 Chateauneuf du Pape was fashioned from yields of 12 hectoliters per hectare and is a blend of 74% Grenache, 14% Mourvedre, 9% Syrah and 3% Cinsault aged primarily in cement tanks with one-third spending time in truncated wood foudres. It exhibits a deep ruby/purple color, stunning concentration and lots of raspberry, cassis, blueberry and acacia flower notes. With plenty of glycerin, sweet tannin, a long, heady finish and 15%+ alcohol, it should evolve effortlessly for 15 or more years."
International Wine Cellar - "Bright purple. High-pitched aromas of black raspberry, candied flowers and spicecake, with a mineral overtone. Juicy, focused and pure, offering tangy red and dark berry flavors that turn spicier with air. Finishes with impressive energy and cut, leaving floral and spice notes behind.
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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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.