Domaine de Marcoux Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2019
The Châteauneuf-du-Pape Rouge, the bulk of the production at Domaine de Marcoux, is sourced from 13 sites spread over a wide range of terroirs. This allows for a wine that is both dense but pure and lifted with beguiling aromatics. In general terms Marcoux is always inclined towards red-fruit flavors with a smoky stoniness that emerges with age.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Aromas of violet and fresh raspberry introduce this Grenache-dominant red. Sourced from biodynamically grown grapes cultivated on a cross section of terroir within Chateauneuf-du-Pape, it's ripe but pristine and concentrated, quivering with flavors of rich black-cherry and boysenberry preserves. A whisper of spice and smoke suggests the barest of oak influence. Delicious now. Editors’ Choice
Rich and ripe but fresh and light on its feet, with a seductive, silky texture to the mix of cherry puree, raspberry reduction and mulled plum flavors. Shows anise, black tea and incense notes that lend a perfumed air all the way through the warm earth-tinged finish. Grenache, Mourvèdre, Syrah and Cinsault. Best from 2023.
Bright ruby. Vibrant, spice-accented aromas of raspberry and cherry liqueur, incense and pungent flowers are accompanied by a smoky mineral nuance that builds in the glass. Deep-pitched yet impressively lively as well, offering intense red and dark berry liqueur and floral pastille flavors that stain the palate and show superb clarity and minerally lift. Closes extremely long, focused and lively, with silky tannins framing the wine’s sweet fruit. This is about as good as a "basic" Châteauneuf gets.
The 2019 Châteauneuf Du Pape showed beautifully, with a ripe, classic, Provençal bouquet of black raspberry, strawberries, and darker berry fruits as well as spice, garrigue, and pepper. Beautifully textured, full-bodied, yet all about finesse and elegance, it’s overflowing with character and charm. It’s going to shine for 15 years with no issues.
Marcoux's 2019 Chateauneuf du Pape—approximately 80% Grenache, 10% Mourvèdre, 7% Syrah and 3% Cinsault, mostly aged in concrete—offers up a complex array of dried spices and garrigue, ripe cherries and red berries. It's full-bodied, rich and tannic but ripe, with plenty of fruit to back it up, and refreshing hints of licorice on the long finish. Tasted twice (once blind), with consistent notes. Best after 2023
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 sisters do as little as possible to the harvested grapes. This domaine, as critic Stephen Tanzer put it, is "the essence of Chateauneuf-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 Chateauneuf-du-Pape's quality hierarchy. The two red wines produced have been stunning, with the regular cuvée of Chateauneuf-du-Pape one of the finest in the appellation, and the limited production Cuvée Vieilles Vignes one of the world’s truly magnificent wines."
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, Châteauneuf-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 Châteauneuf-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 Châteauneuf-du-Pape is white wine. 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.
With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.