The Vieilles Vignes cuvée comes from two plots: Charbonnières: 2.32 ha planted with Grenache, but with a few other vines, including some Mourvèdre. According to the vineyard registry, the year of planting was 1900. Les Esqueirons: this 1.13 ha plot is behind the castle, on the west slope of the village hill, in the locality of Les Esqueirons. Both plots are harvested at the same time.
Grape varieties:Grenache 98% (Charbonnières) and 100% (Les Esqueirons).
Southern Rhône wines are almost always blended around Grenache to bring balance, complexity and richness of aroma to the wines. Thirteen varietals are permitted. The main varieties are:
Grenache – Medium ruby colour and high alcohol. Delightfully fruity (red fruits) in youth, spice: prune notes with age. Medium dry tannins that soften with age.
Syrah – Deep colour with purple shades. Very tight but velvety tannins giving good ageing potential. Violet and/ or black fruit aromas. With age the aromas evolves towards wild aromas of leather, truffle, and towards liquorice
Mourvèdre – Dark brick red, high tannin brings additional ageing quality to the blend. Sometimes animal notes in its youth become fruity (dark berries, leather, undergrowth, pine, liquorice) and spicy with age.
Cinsault – High proportion in Rosé. Elegant, fruity aromas, light colour and tannin (in reds).
Grenache Blanc – Low acidity giving smoothness and length on the palate with floral aromas and notes of apple and pear.
Clairette – Brings acidity and freshness to the blend. Floral, complex aromas of rose and acacia with notes of white peach and exotic fruit.
Roussanne – Brings finesse and delicacy and a great deal of elegance. Good acidity in the northern Rhône enabling the wine to age well. Complex aromas of honeysuckle with touches of apricot, hawthorn or narcissus.
Bourboulenc – Brings good acidity to the blend. Floral aromas.
Marsanne – Medium acidity, with high aromatic potential in young wines. Complex and subtle floral aromas of acacia, dried fruit and nuts (almond, hazelnut, walnut).
Viognier – Medium colour with low acidity and very fruity (pear) in the Southern Rhône. In the Northern Rhône, it brings suppleness and smoothness. Great aromatic potential – acacia, honeysuckle, violet, almond blossom, linden, and with age, musk, honey and dried apricot.
Terroir: Colluvium (slope deposits) and safres (fine-grained sand) for Charbonnières. Colluvium and clay for Les Esqueirons.
The vast majority of wines in the Southern Rhône are aged in neutral tanks such as concrete and stainless steel in order to preserve the delightful fruity characteristics of Grenache. Where oak is used, it is often only used for a proportion of the blend. The majority of wines in the Northern Rhône however, are aged in oak.
The amount of oak flavour in the wine depends on:
The following classifications are used for wines listed on this website:
No Oak – The wine is aged in neutral vats or large, old oak barrels that impart no oak flavours. These wines will be fruit-forward and bright in their early years.
Light Oak – Oak flavours are present but do not dominate the wine when young. The wine may only be partly aged in smaller oak barrels and/or the barrels may have been used for one to three prior wines.
Prominent Oak – Oak flavour is a noticeable feature of the wine, particularly when young. Oak also imparts oak tannins into the wine which can increase the ageing potential of the wine, thus allowing the wine to develop complex aromas over many years.
Drinking time: 4 to 15 years
Reviews: JD 92-94 pts, VM 93 pts. See below.
The ratings of leading reviewers are listed here with their written comments detailed at the bottom of the page.
Remember that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”. Each wine reviewer has personal tastes and, as hard as they try, preferences can be reflected in the numerical score a reviewer gives to a wine. This is why is important to read their comments rather than judge a wine by its numerical score.
JR = Jancis Robinson. Score out of 20 points.
RP = Robert Parker, Wine Advocate. Score out of 100 points.
JD = Jeb Dunnuck. Score out of 100 points.
WS = Wine Spectator. Score out of 100 points.
W&S = Wine and Sprits. Score out of 100 points.
WE = Wine Enthusiast. Score out of 100 points.
VM = Vinous Media. Score out of 100 points.
JS= James Suckling. Score out of 100 points.
Shipping costs are calculated per box of 6 bottles. Each box can contain a mixed selection of wines.
In the county archives in Avignon, there is a register dating from 1344. It lists all those who must pay a tax to their master: the Bishop of Avignon. Even back then, the name Armani features five times. Their forenames? Pierre, Raymond, Bernard, Isnard and Durant.
The Armani name would evolve over time, becoming Armanie, then Armanier and finally Armenier. These spellings are found in the municipal and family archives.
We can assert, without complete certainty, that these five Armenier families, who were settled in Châteauneuf in 1344 and already owned some property, had already been there a long time… We can even dare to suggest that the Armeniers were there when the village was founded – and why not!
What is certain, though, is that they are one of the oldest families in the village. The same is true on their mother’s side. Jacqueline Coulon, their mother, is also descended from an old Châteauneuf bloodline, the Jouffron family: the oldest document in their possession, a marriage deed, is dated 4 November 1691. And so, through the generations, the estate has been unravelled and reassembled with each wedding and inheritance…
In 1995, at a time when it was still not straightforward for women to work in a winery, Sophie and Catherine Armenier took over running Domaine de Marcoux. Catherine chiefly managed the vines, while Sophie led the winemaking side.
The sisters wholly devoted themselves to the estate and to making quality wines.
In 2014, Sophie’s son Vincent Estevenin took his place alongside his mother and aunt, bringing his youth, passion and skills to the winery. In 2019, Catherine, aspiring to a quieter life, retired!