2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine de Marcoux

2011 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine de Marcoux

Red, For laying down   Red | For laying down | Domaine de Marcoux | Code: 16541 | 2011 | France > Rhône > Chateauneuf du Pape | Southern Rhône Blend | Full Bodied, Dry | 16.0 % alcohol

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Scores and Reviews

JANCIS

17.5/20

PARKER

91-93/100

JANCIS - Bright, dark crimson. Racy and rich and lively. Really very sinewy and lifted plus sweet and pure Clos des Papes style!
Jancis Robinson MW, jancisrobinson.com 28 Feb 2013

PARKER - The gorgeous 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is composed of 98% Grenache and small dollops of Cinsault and other varietals from 90- to 100-year-old vines grown in three sectors of Chateauneuf du Pape, La Crau, Gallimardes and Esquirons. Another candidate for the wine of the vintage, it is a full-bodied red revealing copious amounts of creme de cassis and black raspberries as well as a surprising viscosity and chewiness for the vintage. This superb wine should drink nicely for 10-15 years. It is a major sleeper of the vintage. 

One of the classic family-owned domaines in Chateauneuf du Pape (of which there are many), Domaine de Marcoux is run by two dynamic sisters, Sophie and Catherine Armenier. The estate, which can trace its history back to 1344, has only been estate bottling since 1978. It owns over 40 acres, all of which have been biodynamically farmed since the early 1990s as this was one of the first properties to move to this strict style of farming. Both cuvees of Chateauneuf du Pape were made in 2011, and in a year that saw a relatively large crop, yields were reduced at Marcoux, averaging 22 liters per hectare. They had to do a Draconian-like triage on the grapes during the harvest. The 2010s are very successful at Domaine de Marcoux.
Robert Parker, Wine Advocate #204, Dec 2012

The Story

Domaine de Marcoux

Producer

Domaine de Marcoux

Domaine de Marcoux, a small Châteauneuf domaine, is owned and managed by Catherineand her sister, Sophie Estevenin. After a visit to Domaine Leroy in Burgundy in 1990 Philippe put one third of his 34 hectares to bio-dynamic culture in 1990. Today all the vineyards are farmed according to bio-dynamic principles. This is designed to bring the vineyard back into balance after the post-war excessive use of chemicals. Armenier also feels that this renewed balance results in more effective photosynthesis, contributing to a steadier, more even ripening process.

The vineyards are planted with Grenache (70%), Mourvèdre (10%), Cinsault (5%) and Syrah (5%). Another 5% is given over to different vines varieties such as Muscardin, Counoise and Vaccarèse. Marcoux has its vineyards dotted around the appellation and is therefore blessed with a large variation of soil-types, ranging from the large round smooth stone soils, to sand, gravel and limestone. The regular Châteauneuf-du-Pape is one of the best examples in the appellation, while the Cuvée Vieilles Vignes is a powerful and concentrated wine and is now one of the most sought after deluxe cuvées in Châteauneuf.

Grape

Southern Rhône Blend

Southern Rhône Blend

The vast majority of wines from the Southern Rhône are blends. There are 5 main black varieties, although others are used and the most famous wine of the region, Châteauneuf du Pape, can be made from as many as 13 different varieties. Grenache is the most important grape in the southern Rhône - it contributes alcohol, warmth and gentle juicy fruit and is an ideal base wine in the blend. Plantings of Syrah in the southern Rhône have risen dramatically in the last decade and it is an increasingly important component in blends. It rarely attains the heights that it does in the North but adds colour, backbone, tannins and soft ripe fruit to the blend.

The much-maligned Carignan has been on the retreat recently but is still included in many blends - the best old vines can add colour, body and spicy fruits. Cinsault is also backtracking but, if yields are restricted, can produce moderately well-coloured wines adding pleasant-light fruit to red and rosé blends. Finally, Mourvèdre, a grape from Bandol on the Mediterranean coast, has recently become an increasingly significant component of Southern Rhône blends - it often struggles to ripen fully but can add acidity, ripe spicy berry fruits and hints of tobacco to blends.

Region

Chateauneuf du Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the largest and most important wine appellation in the southern Rhône. It is home to more than 3,200 hectares of vineyards and over 80 growers; more wine is produced in Châteauneuf than the whole of the northern Rhône put together. The vineyards are bounded to the west by the Rhône river and to the east by the A7 autoroute.

Châteauneuf-du-Pape was the first ever Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée established in France, in 1932. Small, rounded rocks from the ancient river bed known as galets roulés are a key aspect of what makes Châteauneuf -du-Pape wines so distinctive, with the rocks reflecting heat back into the vines at night, thus increasing ripeness and reducing acidity.

The gloriously rich red wines, redolent of the heat and herbs of the south, are enhanced by the complexity which comes from blending several grape varieties. Fourteen are permitted for reds: GrenacheMouvedreSyrah, Cinsault, Vaccarese, Counoise, Teret Noir, Muscadin, Picpoul Noir, Clairette, Grenache Blanc, Rousanne, Picpoul Gris and Picardin. With red Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Grenache typically dominates with Syrah and Mourvèdre in support.

White Châteauneuf-du-Pape is becoming increasingly sought-after, even though it represents less than 10 percent of the total production. Here, five grapes are permitted: Grenache Blanc, Clairette, Roussanne, Bourboulenc and Picardin.

Recommended Producers: Château de Beaucastel, Clos de Papes, Vieux Télégraphe, Château Rayas,, Domaine de la Charbonnière, Sabon, Château La Nerthe, Domaine Perrin

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