Sophie, Catherine and Vincent ARMENIER
The Armenier family’s roots in the region can be traced back to the 13th century although the Domaine is surprisingly new having been founded in 1989 from vineyards that have been in the family for generations. Domaine de Marcoux was a pioneer in organic and biodynamic farming long before it was fashionable and this is now overseen by Sophie’s son Vincent since Catherine retired. They farm about 18 ha in Chateauneuf-du-Pape, 8 ha in Lirac and a little over 2 ha just north of Châteauneuf where they make a lovely and nuanced Côtes-du-Rhône.
The vines are farmed biodynamically but the domaine is not certified. They are grown on a diversity of soils from sandy soils to clay dominated soils and some of their grenache plants are over 100 years old.
Their modest yet very clean and organised cellar is equipped with stainless steel tanks for fermentation and concrete vats for the ageing of most of their wines. Some of the Roussanne and a portion of their other cuvées are aged in oak barrels or foudres, the percentage depending on the characteristics of the vintage. Grapes are harvested in small cases and 100% de-stemmed. The fermentation occurs with indigenous yeasts and although maceration is long (1 month), the extraction is very gentle.
“The wines are wonderfully elegant and balanced and showcase the whole potential of Grenache.”