1998 Domaine Marcoux "Vieilles Vignes" Châteauneuf-du-Pape

SKU #991563 99 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Absolutely sensational and flirting with perfection, Marcoux's 1998 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes is still vibrant ruby in color and offers off-the-hook notes of sweet kirsch, dried flowers, garrigue, licorice and toasted spices. Pure silk on the palate, with a massive, unctuous, yet still seamless texture that never put a foot wrong, this beauty is fully mature - and I see no reason to hold off - but will certainly continue to shine for another 5-10, and I suspect have a graceful evolution beyond that. This is an extraordinary Grenache. (JD)  (8/2015)

98 points Wine Spectator

 *Highly Recommended* Beautiful terroir shines through in this extraordinary wine. Mineral, lead-pencil, some plum, leather and subtle wood, but above all, clean red and black fruit notes are all presented in a thick-textured, smooth-as-can-be wine with a seamless finish. Simply incredible, a meal in itself. Drink now through 2030. (PM)  (12/2000)

95 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep red. Flamboyant aromas of cherry and raspberry jam and dark chocolate; distinctly roasted yet lively. Huge, chewy and dense; superripe, incredibly concentrated grenache with the texture of a solid. The near-16% alcohol is almost magically buffered by the wine extraordinary fruit. Finishes with big, sweet, chewy tannins and great expanding length. This displays the exotic dried fruit aspect of the ripest examples from 1990. A monument of the 1998 vintage. (ST)  (1/2001)

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Price: $249.99
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- Fat, ripe and rich with ample fruit and vibrant acidity, wines made from Grenache are easy to love. While its origins are still under dispute - some suggest Spain, where it is called Garnacha, while others say it came first from Sardinia, where it is called Cannonau - it is inarguably one of the most planted varietals in the world. A hearty grape, Grenache does well in hot, dry regions and its sturdy stalk also makes it well-suited to withstand blustery conditions like the Provençal Mistral. It ripens at relatively high sugar levels, which translates to higher potential alcohol in the wines it produces. Grenache may be most famous in the Southern Rhône areas such as Châteauneuf-du-Pape and Gigondas where it has long been an important component of delicious blends. But it's also the source of the crisp rosés from Tavel, Lirac and Provence, and age-worthy vins doux naturels like Rivsaltes and Banyuls. Grenache is also found in large swaths of northeastern Spain, in Navarre, in Rioja, where it plays a supporting role in blends with Tempranillo, and in the distinctive wines of Priorat. The grape was once the most widely planted varietal in Australia, though Shiraz and Cabernet have overtaken it. In California, Grenache plantings have dwindled from their heyday in the San Joaquin Valley, but it is starting to see a resurgence, albeit in smaller plantings, where other Rhône varietals thrive.


- When it comes to wine, France stands alone. No other country can beat it in terms of quality and diversity. And while many of its Region, Bordeaux, Burgundy and Champagne most obviously, produce wine as rare, as sought-after and nearly as expensive as gold, there are just as many obscurities and values to be had from little known appellations throughout the country. To learn everything there is to know about French wine would take a lifetime. To understand and appreciate French wine, one only has to begin tasting them.


- Legendary wine-producing region in southeast France. Stereotypically speaking, Rhone wines are high in alcohol, and the majority produced is red. The northern Rhone is best known for outstanding 100% Syrah wines from areas such as Cote Rotie and Hermitage, as well as for fabulous white wines from Condrieu (where Viognier is king). In the southern Rhone, look for spicy, full-bodied wines that are blends of Grenache, Syrah, and other varietals coming from appellations such as Chateauneuf du Pape, Gigondas, or Rasteau. Wines labeled as Cote du Rhone or Cotes du Rhone Village (a cut above generic Cotes du Rhone) are frequently found here in the US because they often represent some of the best values on the market.
Specific Appellation:

Chateauneuf du Pape