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Marcoux plotters

Armenier “Domaine de Marcoux” 1999 Châteauneuf-du-Pape “Vieilles Vignes” (Rhône) – An explosion, but the shrapnel’s a quilt and it takes place inside the warm snuggles of a down comforter. Dark fruit, lush and supple, is just teetering over towards a meatier stage, and there’s plenty of rich, fertile black earth underneath, with the occasional morel in evidence. However, a stylistic warning: there’s also a soft, pillowy layer of vanilla and dusted chocolate, which soften and modernize the otherwise beautifully-supplied wine into something a little more anonymous than I’d like. It’s a fabulous wine, no doubt, but it would be better without the makeup. (4/09)