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Domaine de Marcoux Chateauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes 2011

Rhone Red Blends from Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
  • RP95
  • WS94
0% ABV
  • RP97
  • JD97
  • D95
  • V98
  • JD96
  • RP95
  • RP98
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  • V95
  • WS90
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Winemaker Notes

The Vieilles Vignes, a cuvée made entirely from old-vine Grenache, made in vintages where the Grenache is abundant, rich and complex. It is aged entirely in 350L barrels for 18 months. While more concentrated and structured than the regular cuvée, it still possesses the delicate floral and spice character that is the signature of this domaine. No Vieilles Vignes was produced in 2013 or 2014.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Even more impressive and mostly likely one of the top 10-12 wines in the vintage, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is an up-front, sexy and perfumed blend of close to 100% Grenache. Possessing notions of kirsch liqueur, raspberry, creamy licorice and crushed flowers, it is full-bodied, nicely concentrated and has an overall hedonistic, seamless profile that's hard to resist. I don't think it will make old bones though, and it should be at its best during its first 10-12 years of life. Don't let that deter you though as this is one delicious thrill ride of Grenache. Drink now-2023.
WS 94
Wine Spectator
A bright, racy style, this has a bold cassis and cherry paste core backed by mouthwatering anise, apple wood and fruitcake notes. The vibrant finish offers sleek acidity and a buried iron accent. Remarkably pure, showing grip at the very end. This should put on some weight in the cellar. Best from 2015 through 2030.
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Domaine de Marcoux

Domaine de Marcoux

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Domaine de Marcoux, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone, France
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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."

Chateauneuf-du-Pape

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Famous for its full-bodied, seductive and spicy reds with flavor and aroma characteristics reminiscent of black cherry, baked raspberry, garrigue, olive tapenade, lavender and baking spice, Chateauneuf-du-Pape is the leading sub-appellation of the southern Rhône River Valley. Large pebbles resembling river rocks, called "galets" in French, dominate most of the terrain. The stones hold heat and reflect it back up to the low-lying gobelet-trained vines. Though the galets are typical, they are not prominent in every vineyard. Chateau Rayas is the most obvious deviation with very sandy soil.

According to law, eighteen grape varieties are allowed in Chateauneuf-du-Pape and most wines are blends of some mix of these. For reds, Grenache is the star player with Mourvedre and Syrah coming typically second. Others used include Cinsault, Counoise and occasionally Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Picquepoul Noir and Terret Noir.

Only about 6-7% of wine from Chateauneuf-du-Pape is white. Blends and single-varietal bottlings are typically based on the soft and floral Grenache Blanc but Clairette, Bourboulenc and Roussanne are grown with some significance.

The wine of Chateauneuf-du-Pape takes its name from the relocation of the papal court to Avignon. The lore says that after moving in 1309, Pope Clément V (after whom Chateau Pape-Clément in Pessac-Léognan is named) ordered that vines were planted. But it was actually his successor, John XXII, who established the vineyards. The name however, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, translated as "the pope's new castle," didn’t really stick until the 19th century.

Rhône Blends

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, red Rhône blends originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley. Grenache, supported by Syrah and Mourvèdre typically form the base of the blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. With some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in Priorat, Washington, Australia and California.

In the Glass

The taste profile of a Rhône blend will vary according to its individual components, as each variety brings something different to the glass. Grenache is the lightest in color but contributes plenty of ripe red fruit and a plush texture. Syrah supplies dark fruit flavors, along with savory, spicy and earthy notes. Mourvèdre is responsible for a floral perfume and earthy flavor as well as structure and a healthy dose of color. New World examples tend to be fruit-forward in style, while those from the Old World will often have more earth, structure and herbal components on top of ripe red and blue fruit.

Perfect Pairings

Rhône red blends typically make for very food-friendly wines. These can work with a wide variety of meat-based dishes, playing equally well with beef, pork, lamb or game. Braised beef cheeks, grilled steak or sausages, roasted pork and squab are all fine pairings.

Sommelier Secret

Some regions like to put their own local spin on the red Rhône blend—for example, in Australia’s Barossa Valley, Shiraz is commonly blended with Cabernet Sauvignon to add structure, tannin and a long finish. Grenache-based blends from Priorat often include Carignan (known locally as Cariñena) and Syrah, but also international varieties like Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, anything goes, and it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

IPOPI_EC5474_2011 Item# 364431