Tardieu-Laurent Chateaneuf du Pape Cuvee Speciale 2011 Front Label
Tardieu-Laurent Chateaneuf du Pape Cuvee Speciale 2011 Front Label

Tardieu-Laurent Chateaneuf du Pape Cuvee Speciale 2011

  • RP93
750ML / 14.5% ABV
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750ML / 14.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Harvested later than usual at the beginning of October, the grapes were whole-bunch fermented without any destemming taking place. Here, once again, the great terroir made the difference; Grenache grown in sandy soil suffered less from the unpredictable growing season, allowing the grapes to reach optimal maturity — with ripe stems.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Made from 100% Grenache with 100% stems utilized and grown in sandy soils in the La Crau sector, the 2011 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Speciale reveals classic aromas of kirsch, pepper and earth as well as a full-bodied mouthfeel. It achieved over 15% natural alcohol and was aged in a combination of tanks and old barrels. This outstanding, spicy Chateauneuf should drink well for over a decade.

Range: 90-93 Ponts

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Tardieu-Laurent

Tardieu-Laurent

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Tardieu-Laurent, France
Tardieu-Laurent Winery Image
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.

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Famous for its full-bodied, seductive and spicy reds with flavor and aroma characteristics reminiscent of black cherry, baked raspberry, garrigue, olive tapenade, lavender and baking spice, Châteauneuf-du-Pape is the leading sub-appellation of the southern Rhône River Valley. Large pebbles resembling river rocks, called "galets" in French, dominate most of the terrain. The stones hold heat and reflect it back up to the low-lying gobelet-trained vines. Though the galets are typical, they are not prominent in every vineyard. Chateau Rayas is the most obvious deviation with very sandy soil.

According to law, eighteen grape varieties are allowed in Châteauneuf-du-Pape and most wines are blends of some mix of these. For reds, Grenache is the star player with Mourvedre and Syrah coming typically second. Others used include Cinsault, Counoise and occasionally Muscardin, Vaccarèse, Picquepoul Noir and Terret Noir.

Only about 6-7% of wine from Châteauneuf-du-Pape is white wine. Blends and single-varietal bottlings are typically based on the soft and floral Grenache Blanc but Clairette, Bourboulenc and Roussanne are grown with some significance.

The wine of Chateauneuf-du-Pape takes its name from the relocation of the papal court to Avignon. The lore says that after moving in 1309, Pope Clément V (after whom Chateau Pape-Clément in Pessac-Léognan is named) ordered that vines were planted. But it was actually his successor, John XXII, who established the vineyards. The name however, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, translated as "the pope's new castle," didn’t really stick until the 19th century.

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With bold fruit flavors and accents of sweet spice, Grenache, Syrah and Mourvèdre form the base of the classic Rhône Red Blend, while Carignan, Cinsault and Counoise often come in to play. Though they originated from France’s southern Rhône Valley, with some creative interpretation, Rhône blends have also become popular in other countries. Somm Secret—Putting their own local spin on the Rhône Red Blend, those from Priorat often include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. In California, it is not uncommon to see Petite Sirah make an appearance.

YNG471521_2011 Item# 129538

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