Tardieu-Laurent Vacqueyras Vielles Vignes 2010
Rhone Red Blends from Vacqueyras, Rhone, France
This is a characteristically earthy wine, traditional in style. It already exudes spicy hints of the garrigues — a typical Mediterranean scrub — as well as pepper and bay leaf. The antithesis of modern and international wines!
Blend: 75% Grenache, 25% Syrah
Wine Spectator - "This is gorgeous, with warm espresso, bittersweet ganache and Black Forest cake notes leading the way, followed quickly by lush currant preserves, crushed plum and hoisin sauce notes. The long, graphite-filled finish has terrific cut, while a smoldering feel lingers."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2010 Vacqueyras Vieilles Vignes is pure garrigue, kirsch liqueur, lavender and licorice. Full-bodied and unctuously textured, it displays the vintage’s slightly higher acid and lower pH style that gives it a precision and vibrancy that is unusual in the southern Rhone.
International Wine Cellar - "Bright purple. A heady bouquet displays scents of red fruit preserves, Asian spices and potpourri, with a licorice note in the background. Smooth and seamless on the palate, offering vibrant black raspberry and cherry flavors and a hint of spice cake. Closes with impressive intensity and power, leaving a sexy floral note behind."
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Domaine Tardieu-Laurent was established in 1994. It is a partnership between Dominique Laurent, a former pattisier (and with the girth to go with it) and one of the hottest names in Burgundy, and Michel Tardieu, a dynamic young winemaker. Tardieu-Laurent is an extremely unusual operation in that they are a négociant only, buying young wines from growers all over the Rhône, which they mature and blend before bottling. They own no vineyards and don't buy grapes, only wine.
Tardieu-Laurent is very much an "artisan" producer, making between half a dozen and 20 or so barrels of each wine. The majority of the wines are from the southern Rhône although superb cuvees of Cote Rôtie and Hermitage are also produced. The wines are all aged in small oak casks (often 100% new) and bottled with no fining nor filtration. Michel Tardieu proclaims himself as a confirmed terroirist, insisting that his aim with each appellation is to express powerfully the fruit and sense of place, never masking these factors with wood. View all Tardieu-Laurent Wines
About VacqueyrasView a map of Vacqueyras wineries (vah-keh-rahs) Once just a Cotes-du-Rhone village, the wine of Vacqueyras made its mark and in 1990, gaining its own appellation. The wine is somewhat similar to its northern neighbor, Gigondas, and occasionally even more rustic. Vacqueyras wine gives off the flavors of the earth where the vines grow - wild herbs, spice and rocky soil.
Notable FactsLike other Southern Rhone wine, Grenache is the main player here, and a minimum of 50% of the varietal is required, allowing the blend more room for varietals like Syrah and Mourvedre. Often found for good value prices, these wines are perfect for hearty meat stews and herb-based dishes.
About France - Other regionsWhen it comes to wine, France is a classic. Classic blends, grapes and styles began in the country and they still remain. Think about it - people ask for a Burgundian style Pinot Noir, they refer to wines as Bordeaux or Rhone blends - Champagne even had to pass a law to stop international wineries from putting their region on the label of all sparkling wine.
The top regions of France are: Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Languedoc-Roussillon, Loire, Rhone. And these regions are so diverse! It makes sense that wine regions throughout the world try to emulate their style. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah are no longer French varieties, but international varieties. They may not be the leader of cutting edge technology or value-priced wines, but there is no doubt that they are still producing wines of great quality and diversity.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.