2015 Lirac, La Lorentine, Domaine de Marcoux, Rhône

2015 Lirac, La Lorentine, Domaine de Marcoux, Rhône

Product: 20151145490
Prices start from £140.00 per case Buying options
2015 Lirac, La Lorentine, Domaine de Marcoux, Rhône

Description

Sophie and Catherine were, unsurprisingly, amongst the first of a growing band of brothers (and sisters) to plant over the river in the slightly undervalued appellation of Lirac. Minute geological differences have a big effect on Grenache especially, which can result in wines, such as this, that are richly robust, wonderfully dark of fruit, yet approachable by way of temperament. Well worth the detour. Drink 2018-2023. 
Simon Field MW - Wine Buyer

The forebears of sisters Sophie and Catherine Armenier have been making superb wines since 1344 it seems, maybe modifying their techniques a little along the way, but not too much. Biodynamic in all but the letter, they are based close to Beaucastel, but their plots, albeit more modest in total surface area, are more widely spaced over the appellation, with the most significant holdings in the areas around Courthézon and on the central Crau plateau. Low yields are key to the exceptional quality of the wines.
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Critics reviews

Jancis Robinson MW16+/20
Jancis Robinson MW16+/20
35% Grenache, 35% Mourvèdre, 30% Syrah.
Dark garnet. Spicy and a relatively open nose. Sweet start and lots of freshness. Very easy to appreciate with a black-pepper finish. Very, very slightly stringy on the end.
Janics Robinson, jancisrobinson.com Read more

About this WINE

Domaine de Marcoux

Domaine de Marcoux

Sisters Sophie and Catherine Armenier have elevated Marcoux to the very highest ranks. Today, Sophie diligently runs the winery, while her son Vincent Estevenin looks after the vineyards. Now, there are 27 hectares split into over 20 parcels: 18 hectares lie right in the heart of the prime Châteauneuf-du-Pape terroir of La Crau plateau, the remainder rest in Lirac and the other Côtes du Rhône villages. Certified as organic by Ecocert as early as 1991, this year marks four decades of rigorous organic and then biodynamic principles.

The domaine makes three main wines: a Lirac, their main Châteauneuf-du-Pape and an exceptional Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes – the top cuvée from this organically certified domaine. It’s made from two parcels of outstanding, old-vine Grenache: Charbonnières, planted in ’00, and Esqueirons, planted in ’49.

Sophie Armenier comments that 2020 is elegant, supple and balanced – combining freshness and delicacy. The domaine’s approach to employing long macerations during fermentation complements the succulent characteristics of ’20 extremely well, resulting in mineral-fresh wines with silky tannins.

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Châteauneuf-du-Pape

Châteauneuf-du-Pape

The most celebrated village of the Southern Rhône, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the birthplace of the now indispensable French Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée system – imperfect though it may be. Compared to the Northern Rhône, the vineyards here are relatively flat and often feature the iconic galet pebbles – the precise benefits of which are a source of much debate. Minimum alcohol levels required by the AOC are the highest in France, but at 12.5% it is well below the natural generosity of Grenache, which only achieves its full aromatic potential when it is fully ripe and laden with the resultant high sugars. Syrah and Mourvèdre contribute the other defining elements in the blend, adding pepper, savoury spice and structure to the decadent Grenache. There are a further 10 permitted red grape varieties which can be used to adjust the “seasoning”. Of the five white varieties permitted, it is Grenache Noir’s sibling – predictably perhaps – Grenache Blanc, which dominates, though Roussanne shows a great deal of promise when handled well, notably at Château de Beaucastel.

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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.

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