The Armenier family is one of the oldest in all of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Their ancestors date back to 1344. It is clear that the Armani family – the name was changed to Armenier later on – already belonged to the original inhabitants when the city was founded in the 10th century. The founders of the winery derived its name – which was not officially introduced until 1989 – from the cadester entry of the same name for their grandfather’s wine cellar in the center of the city.
The first bottling of red wine took place in 1978, and of white wine in 1982. Since 1995, the two sisters Sophie Estevenin and Catherine Armenier have been directing the Domaine de Marcoux making their first vintage in '96. They took over the winery from their brother Philippe, who left Europe without much ado and decided to found a biodynamic consulting firm for the winemakers in California’s Napa Valley. He was one of the first vintners in Châteauneuf-du-Pape to work with biological and biodynamical agriculture.
The talented team of sisters Sophie and Catherine Armenier are gracefully carrying on the heritage of the Armenier family, which has been making Châteauneuf du Pape for only 700 years!… [the Vieilles Vignes] can be one of the greatest wines made in the world (the 1998 and 2000 for example), if not the single most phenomenal wine in Châteauneuf du Pape. The regular cuvee of Marcoux is no wimpy wine either. In top vintages, it is a powerful Châteauneuf du Pape that is given the same élevage… Robert Parker, The World’s Greatest Wine Estates.
Over the last 12 years, this biodynamically farmed vineyard has risen to the top of Châteauneuf-du-Pape’s quality hierarchy. The two red wines produced have been stunning, with the regular cuvée of Châteauneuf-du-Pape one of the finest in the appellation, and the limited production Cuvée Vieilles Vignes one of the world’s truly magnificent wines. – Robert Parker
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