Vintage 2020

Cotes du Rhone, Cuvee Speciale, Maison Tardieu Laurent

Maison Tardieu Laurent
Product Code: TI10ZZRC

Tasting Notes

A “handkerchief Wine” - Vin de mouchoir -, e.g. so delicate and scented that you feel like pouring drops on a - preferably lace - handkerchief, just to enjoy its fragrances during the day… What a Cuvée ! Old Grenache with touches of beautiful Pinot noir. Constructed more on the aromatic intensity than on the density. An actual delight

Profile

Grenache
Red
14.5
France
Rhône Valley
6
Cork
Mason Tardieu-Laurent
75cl
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VeganVegetarian

About this product +

Producer >

Tardieu-Laurent is an almost unique operation in the Rhône Valley, a model that is much more commonly found in Burgundy and one that is a growing trend in Champagne. Somehow the French term for what they do fits more neatly, ‘micro-négociant éléveur haute couture.’  In English, it roughly translates to ‘a specialist in the maturation of outstanding wines, from top sites, in very limited quantities.’ Michel took over full ownership in 2004, a moment that coincided with the arrival of his son Bastien, a newly qualified oenologist. The company name remained unchanged as did the modus operandi but from that point and continuing through to today, the focus shifted, with an emphasis on elegance and freshness. They still age the wines in small oak barrels but only for the first year and have greatly lessened the percentage of new oak, eliminating it entirely for their reds from the South.

Viticulture >

Vintage 2021 was incontestably a thumb to the nose of the last “solar” vintages which we have seen recently in the Rhone Valley. Real 30 year flashback, typically reminiscent of more classical harvest dates in the Vindémiare calendar and phenolic maturity from the 90s.. Indeed, this vintage has given us, on all levels, a lot of emotions. Blame it on the particularly capricious weather conditions, sweet understatement! Extreme frost episode from 7th to 9th April, with some temperatures nearing -10C, affected without exception almost all the French vineyards. Cataclysmic observations: the vine for more than 3 weeks was brain dead! Some vinegrowers thought they had l ost their ancestral heritage. Miraculously, nature took back control. But this was not without consequences. The vine stocks were deeply tilted, even unbalanced. The 2nd shoots were anarchic, the labour work extremely complicated. Fortunately, the beneficial rains throughout the vegetative cycle, the moderate temperature in the summer and a beautiful late autumn enabled us to approach harvest season with serenity. Like every year, nature decides for us. This is what makes this job beautiful and delicate. But undeniably, 2021 will remain forever the vintage of a great “vigneron” (vinegrower).

Winemaking >

This wine comes almost exclusively from 70 year Grenache vineyards in Courthézon just on the north eastern corner of the Châteauneuf du Pape appellation. Made from 99% Grenache and 1% other varieties, the grapes are fermented in cement tanks with 100% whole bunches and then aged initially for 8 months in 2nd and 3rd fill barrels, followed by 8 months in large, oval oak casks.

Awards +

A

Ratings +

Jancis Robinson 

16.5

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