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Domaine de Marcoux: A Wolf Walks into a Wine Bar…

Domaine de Marcoux: A Wolf Walks into a Wine Bar…

View the full available range from Domaine de Marcoux here.

For those new to the story, Raisin de Loup is Marcoux’s keenly priced, bistro-style Rhône drawn from two small plots of land in the southern reaches of Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Here you won’t find the galets roulés (rolled alluvial stones) so emblematic of this appellation and the Southern Rhône in particular. Instead, this wine is drawn from the deeper soils where the region’s vignerons have historically grown their small acreage of ‘Vin de Table’ vines. Each year, Marcoux releases less than 300 cases. Traditionally that volume was produced solely for the local market, although repeated nagging eventually won us an allocation.

Vinified using natural yeasts in cement and stainless steel, Raisin de Loup is a Grenache and Syrah blend, complemented by a dollop of both Carignan and Caladoc (an obscure crossing of Grenache and Malbec). Sophie Armenier explains that with this cuvée, first and foremost, she wants to craft a tasty everyday red to sit alongside the Domaine’s iconic red wines. She calls this her “Petit Rhône”. We call it delicious.

That said, there is nothing ‘little’ about this year’s release. From the 2022 vintage (labelled as NV), you can expect the deepest and most complex release we have tasted under this label. It opens with charming Grenache-led vapour of spicy red berries licked by floral and earthy notes. It’s both supple and suave on the palate, with a fine-brushed texture and some creamy blue fruit joining the picture. There is genuine silky intensity here alongside fine chalky tannins and harmonising acidity to keep everything neat and poised. It finishes with a spicy and generous Southern Rhône close. All this is delivered in the balanced, elegant style for which this classy biodynamic grower is renowned.

For those wondering, the name Raisin de Loup translates roughly as “grapes of the wolf”, the local patois for the black nightshade that grows around the vines here. Any other questions can be dealt with by the pointy end of your wine knife!

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