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2011 Tardieu Laurent Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes
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- ABV 14.5%
- Closure: Cork
Maison Tardieu Laurent has developed a solid following here in Australia in recent years. Their 2007s have been stunning across the board. In 2008, they dodged the bullets, providing us with some of the finest wines in what was a difficult vintage for the Southern Rhone, then they came back ever so strongly with the stunning 2009 and 2010 vintages in both North and South.
In 2011, Michel Tardieu describes the vintage as a "summery spring, springly summer and optimal autumn". The prospect of an early harvest waned with a slightly wet and fresher than usual July, hindering Grenache ripening, but when combined with fantastic autumnal weather, greatly advantaging Syrah and Mourvedre. The Northern part of the Rhone valley enjoyed a similar weather pattern and the fresh July turned out to be a blessing for beautifully aromatic Syrah. The wines display vibrant fruit and great typicity.
Given their remarkable quality and consistency, it's no surprise that globally, the wines of Tardieu Laurent are in bigger demand than ever. So much so that the Australian allocations for 2009 and 2010 were dramatically reduced. Quite simply, they're becoming increasingly difficult to procure. Consequently, we've got in early to secure a selection of the 2011s as direct imports. The prices are fantastic but the quantities available are extremely limited and the wines will be sold on a first in first served basis. Don't delay!
A blend of 75% Grenache, 20% Mourvedre and 5% Syrah from the oldest vines is the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Vieilles Vignes. It exhibits a deeper color than its two siblings along with copious notes of new saddle leather, roasted herbs, black pepper, lavender, raspberry and black cherry fruit. This medium to full-bodied 2011 should drink nicely for a decade.
Robert Parker Wine Advocate #203 Oct 2012
(made from 90% grenache and 10% mourvedre): Inky ruby. Intensely perfumed scents of cherry-cola, blackberry, and Asian spices. Weighty but focused dark fruit preserve flavors show striking clarity and palate-staining concentration, with silky tannins sneaking in on the back end. Balances richness and vivacity deftly, with impressive finishing energy and length.
Josh Raynolds - Stephen Tanzer International Wine Cellar #166