2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine de Marcoux, Rhône

2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine de Marcoux, Rhône

Product: 20158009434
Prices start from £505.00 per case Buying options
2015 Châteauneuf-du-Pape, Vieilles Vignes, Domaine de Marcoux, Rhône

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Available by the case In Bond. Pricing excludes duty and VAT, which must be paid separately before delivery. Storage charges apply.
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6 x 75cl bottle
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Description

This is a magnificent, yet still very tannic, wine made from old vines over 100 years in age, delivering amazingly low yields of 12 hl/ha. Its 98 percent Grenache and two percent Cinsault combine to offer an amazing cornucopia of fruit, with an encyclopaedia of cascading flavours – heathery notes, tempered by peat and incense, lead to soft mandarin gilded by verbena and lavender, before, finally, a savoury counterpoint that is dark, deep and mysterious. A real vin de garde. Drink 2022-2030+.
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

Wine Advocate95/100
The 2015 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes (about 97% Grenache) was entirely destemmed. According to Sophie Armenier, its alcohol level is a whopping 16+%, but it was completely concealed by the wine's intricate spice complexities. Licorice, cola, cinnamon, clove and allspice all interweave with cherries to form a silky web that glides across the palate and into a long, long finish.
Joe Czerwinski - 31/10/2017 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 2000 and Esqueirons, planted in 1949.

The cool, freshness of the 2021 vintage really plays to Domaine de Marcoux’s stylistic strengths of purity and minerality, aided as ever by their dedication to biodynamics. Their wines are always balanced but, at 1.5% abv lower than in 2020, both the Lirac and the Châteauneuf-du-Pape are especially gorgeous this year. These wines epitomise the crunchy, deliciously fresh appeal of 2021; they are lifted, fruit-forward and fragrant, and such a delight to drink.

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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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