La Revue du Vin de France has written that Marcoux’s whites “regularly establish themselves among the most beautiful of the appellation; cultivation has a lot to do with it”. Naturally we concur. The standard of the viticulture and the quality of the sites have a great deal to do with how often this wine delivers outstanding quality.
In terms of its individual character, the first thing to say about Marcoux’s blanc is that it’s atypically Roussanne-dominant—up to 70%—blended with Bourboulenc, Grenache Blanc and Clairette. Most of the Roussanne and Bourboulenc hails from two parcels: Les Esqueirons where the cool, limestone-based soils are perfect for white grapes, and Les Bosquets, where the Bourboulenc brings citric freshness and drive to the layered Roussanne. The rest of the grapes come from parcels of Grenache Blanc and Clairette co-planted in predominantly red sites. Marcoux currently farms a total of only one hectare of white grapes, although a further fifth of a hectare of Clairette is due to come on line by 2022.
The grapes were whole-bunch pressed and fermented naturally in mostly steel tanks. An ever-increasing portion of the wine is now also being raised in Stockinger cask “for freshness”. As always, there was no bâtonnage, to further underline the wine’s purity and freshness. Livingstone-Learmonth’s acronym STGT stands for soil-to-glass transfer—there’s purity to burn in this release. If Marcoux has released a more exciting blanc, we have not tasted it. Followers of this wine should not hesitate. - Importer Note
One of the French pioneers of biodynamic viticulture—this tiny, artisanal Domaine was the first in Châteauneuf to convert to biodynamics some 30 years ago. Since this time (and especially since 1996 when the Armenier sisters took full control), Domaine de Marcoux has been on a steady path to becoming one of the true greats of the region. Despite this, it remains small, only producing between two to four thousand cases for the world (roughly half the production of DRC and a tenth of Beaucastel to put things in perspective). So, for many, Marcoux remains a hidden treasure.
While prime focus is given to the vineyards, in the cellar Sophie Estevenin’s subtle hand must also take some credit: natural fermentation; gentle extractions; concrete fermentation; and the absence of any new oak all play a vital role in quality and balance. Sophie’s son Vincent Estevenin officially joined the Domaine in 2015 and is intent on increasing his vineyard’s biodiversity, planting many trees on the property and working the soil less to encourage grass and plants to grow between the rows. A seasonal flock of sheep help with the mowing, and young vines of Muscardin, Counoise and Vaccarèse (varieties that mature at a slower degree) are being introduced. “He has brought a breath of fresh air to the domaine” says his mother, while noting that she also feels reinvigorated by her son’s involvement.
In a region renowned for ‘funk’, Marcoux firmly subscribe to the fruit-equals-terroir school of thought. They love wines of purity, clarity, perfume, seduction and balance—a manifesto that can be tasted across the Domaine’s wines. - Importer Note
|Product Type||Wine White Viognier Marsanne Roussanne & Friends|
|Sub Region||Chateauneuf du Pape|
|Winemaking Practices||Minimal Intervention|