Tag Archives: Tardieu-Laurent

Are you Rhonesome, tonight? (Rhone Valley, France – Day Two)

There are so many differences between the Northern and Southern Rhone Valleys that they should almost be called completely different names. Almost the only thing in common as I mentioned in my last post, is the fact that the four varieties grown in the north are also grown in the south. The Northern Rhone is a much more narrow and elevated valley than in the south, which opens up into wide plains with rolling hills rather than steep cliffs. This type of land actually reminds me of the way the Adige River flows south from Austria through the Italian Alto Adige and Trentino regions into Veneto. Secondly the amount of vineyards in the Northern Rhone is 3,000 hectares, which is the same amount as Chateauneuf-du-Pape alone, one single appellation of almost ten in the Southern Rhone. Thirdly the general approach for the Southern Rhone is for volume rather than quality, particularly for the Cotes-du-Rhone appellation, and there are only a few which go for quality above all else. In the Northern Rhone there is really only one appellation of eight that is more geared towards volume and compared to the Southern Rhone would be considered one of the quality appelations. In the Southern Rhone there is significantly more wine blended between areas than in the Northern Rhone, not to mention a great many more varieties blended, whereas in the north they really only use four and never blend more than two together. Probably the biggest difference is the amount of wine produced by cooperatives, much of which is sold to negociants within the Rhone Valley or outside of it and then bottled by someone else. Very rarely does wine get sold in bulk in the north; it is either sold as grapes or bottled wine. The first appointment I had for today was a negociant producer owning no vineyards (Tardieu-Laurent), and the other was the opposite, only producing wine from their vineyards in the Southern Rhone Valley (Vieux-Telegraphe).

Different sizes of barrels used to mature wine

Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Winery Visits

Tardieu-Laurent – 22/05/2012

Hermitage Blanc 2010 (75% marsanne, 25% roussanne)

Creamy nutty toasty apricots, vanilla lanolin and citrus concentration on the nose. Crunchy creamy texture, bold yet soft, complex and focused with two years to develop.

Cotes-du-Rhone Rouge 2010 (60% grenache, 40% syrah)

Bold floral juicy red fruits, blackberries mature spice aromas. On the palate, generous full-flavoured fruit, soft approachable tannins, concentration and depth for this type of wine.

Vacqueyras 2010 (80% grenache, 20% syrah)

Toastier and earthier stalky pepper notes, violets spice black cherry darkness aromas. Fresh light and tight on the palate, great lines and liveliness.

Gigondas Vielles Vignes 2010 (90% grenache, 5% syrah, 5% mouvedre)

Dark earthy meaty spice aromas, ruby blackcurrant and savoury plum concentration. Fresh pure and focused on the palate with tight tannin structure, still very closed.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2010 (75% grenache, 15% syrah, 10% mouvedre)

intense dark colour, very bold and juicy in fruit on the nose, black fruits with some toasty nutty oak characters. Dense and full on the palate, warmth and texture but still clean and bright, albeit very intense.

Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2010 Cuvee Special

Much meatier and earthier on the nose, concentrated savoury notes with wild feral spice unlike a chateauneuf wine. Concentrated spice and elegant tight structured tannins looks more like a Northern Rhone wine.

Crozes-Hermitage 2010 (100% syrah)

Gentle fresh, lively and intense with crisp red fruits and subtle white pepper. Red currants pomegranate and raspberry fruit on the palate, broad and mouth-filling but light and approachable.

Cornas 2010 (100% syrah)

Strong aromas of wild game and red cherry, complex tight nose. On the palate very velvety opulent tannins, long finish and purity with vibrant acids keeping things fresh.

Cornas Vielles Vignes 2010 (100% syrah)

Incredibly seductive nose, dense floral stalky spice notes, slightly feral with blackcurrants. Juicy, juby and concentrated on the palate, bold and expressive dark fruits and tannins.

Cote Rotie 2010 (100% syrah)

Very tight, concentrated yet bright aromas, lean and mineralic with subtle focussed fruit. Extremely austere, and also very closed at the moment so a more challenging wine to approach this soon, needs more time.

Hermitage 2010 (100% syrah)

Intense earthy savoury fruit nose, very red and bold. Full-flavoured yet generous, bold texture and grainy tannins, well structure intense fruit that needs time to balance before bottling.

Tardieu-Laurent Cote Rotie 2011 barrel

Click here to read the original post about my visit to the winery.

Leave a comment

Filed under Tasting Notes