Domaine de Marcoux
There are old families in the Châteauneuf du Pape appellation and there are really old families from the region. The roots of Domaine de Marcoux date all the way back to about the year 1000. Châteauneuf du Pape was not born yet.
The area was still known as Castrum Novum, which meant fortified village. At the time, the ancestors of the Armenier family went under the name of Armani. The estate takes its name from the village of Marcoux, located in the Alpes de Haute Provence.
While the owners of Domaine de Marcoux are obviously one of the oldest families in the Southern Rhone Valley, winemaking did not take place at Domaine de Marcoux until quite recently. The first vintage was 1989. In 1990, they began farming about 30% of their vineyards using only biodynamic experiments.
Six years later, the sisters, Catherine Armenier and Sophie Estevenin started managing Domaine de Marcoux after their brother Philippe Armenier moved to Napa Valley in California in 1995. Catherine Armenier is responsible for the wine making, and Sophie Armenier looks after the business end of the winery.
Domaine de Marcoux practices biodynamics farming of their 17.5 planted hectares of vines that are spread out into at least 10 separate parcels. On average, their vines are close to 50 years of age. They have old vines, the oldest are more than 100 years old.
They come from 2.3 hectares distributed among 3 parcels that are planted on a terroir of sandy soils. The best of those vines are planted in the La Crau vineyard.
That is the grape source for the Domaine de Marcoux Vieilles Vignes. They also have vines planted in the Les Esqueierons, Coste Froide, Les Gaumardes, Les Charbonnieres, Les Plages, Beaurenard, La Bigote and Les Bas Serres lieu-dits. At Domaine Marcoux, .8 hectares of their vines are reserved for the production of white wine grapes.
Domaine de Marcoux is a traditionally managed Rhone property. After harvest, a portion of the berries are destemmed and sorted to each specific grape variety before fermentation.
The fruit spends 3 weeks in concrete vats. Malolactic fermentation takes place in vats. At that point, the wine is aged in a combination of concrete vats and foudres for between 16 to 18 months before bottling.