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Tardieu-Laurent Crozes-Hermitage Vieilles Vignes 2007

Syrah/Shiraz from Hermitage, Rhone, France
  • WS91
  • WE90
13% ABV
  • RP93
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4.0 1 Ratings
13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Grape Source: Two domaines in Larnage, Battis and Mercurol

Appellation: Crozes-Hermitage is northern Rhône's largest appellation. Located on the right bank of the Rhône River, it almost completely surrounds the Hermitage appellation. The 250 acres of vineyards are mostly on the flatlands that spread out south and east of the hillsides of Hermitage. Syrah, Roussanne and Marsanne grapes are grown here.

Vine Age: 50 years and older

Soil: Clay and granite

Barrel Aging: An average of 20 months in new French oak (Allier and Tronçais)

Tasting Notes
There is no denying this wine of its terroir. It hums of its unmistakable origins and offers an original hint at licorice.

Critical Acclaim

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WS 91
Wine Spectator
Shows nice depth and power for the vintage, with roasted plum, coffee, graphite and dark currant paste flavors that are offset by a tangy tobacco note on the finish.
WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Typical for Tardieu-Laurent, this wine is strongly marked by its barrel treatment, which may be enough to put off traditionalists. But the quality and concentration levels of the black cherry fruit underneath are high, and this rather full-bodied, muscular Crozes should develop nicely over the next 5–7 years.
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Tardieu-Laurent

Tardieu-Laurent

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Tardieu-Laurent, Hermitage, Rhone, France
2007 Crozes-Hermitage Vieilles Vignes
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.

Hermitage

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One of the smallest and most important Syrah regions of northern Rhone, Hermitage is practically one single south-facing slope of crushed granite, thinly covered with varied, yet well-charted soil types. Many climats (well identified parcels) exist within Hermitage and while some smaller producers make single climat Syrahs, some larger ones blend to make one balanced expression of the appellation.

Though the AC regulations allow the addition of up to 15% white grapes to a red Hermitage, in practice it is usually made from Syrah alone. Winemaking is pretty traditional—or you might say historic—with hot fermentations and aging in older barrels of various sizes. The best wines, characterized by deep, dense and sexy flavors of black fruit, cocoa, licorice and tobacco, have massive textures and a solid 10-20 years aging potential.

The region of Hermitage is totally enclosed; the only place it could go really is to literally fall down its own hill into the city of Tain or the Rhone River. Soil erosion is a problem and terraces exist alongside the hill in order to keep the earth in place. Crozes-Hermitage encloses the region entirely to its north and south.

While Hermitage seems synonymous with some of the best Syrah on the planet, actually about one third of the wine produced here comes from white grapes. The full, lush and robust Marsanne or the less common, but almost more charming, Roussanne create wonderful whites in which the best have great potential for aging, like the reds.

Syrah/Shiraz

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Marked by unmistakable aromatics, a savory palate, and an elegant texture, Syrah is capable of producing fascinatingly complex and long-lived wines with a stunning purple hue. Native to the Northern Rhône, Syrah’s best examples are found in Hermitage and Côte-Rôtie. It is also an important component of the GSM blends of the Southern Rhône and beyond, alongside Grenache and Mourvèdre. Both varietal Syrah and GSM blends are common in Australia and California and are gaining popularity in Washington State. In Australia, Syrah is known by the synonym Shiraz, which tends to indicate a bolder, fruit-driven style of wine, and is occasionally blended with Cabernet Sauvignon for added depth and structure.

In the Glass

At its best, Syrah shows aromas and flavors of purple fruits, fragrant violets, baking spice, white pepper, smoke, and even bacon fat. Many examples from California aim to recreate this savory style, while others focus more on concentrated fruit flavors. In Australia, under the name Shiraz, it shines as that country’s unofficial signature red grape, producing deep, dark, intense, and often jammy reds.

Perfect Pairings

Cool-climate Syrah, with its peppery spices, is a natural match with flavorful Moroccan-spiced lamb dishes, where the spice is more about flavor than heat. With Australian Shiraz, grown in warmer regions, heavy meat dishes with abundant protein and fat are a necessity to match the intensity of the wine.

Sommelier Secret

Due to the success of Australian “Shiraz,” this synonym for Syrah has been adopted by winemakers throughout the world. If the label says “Shiraz,” you can typically expect a plush, fruity, and potent wine made in the Australian style. New World "Syrah" will generally more closely resemble the French style.

YNG788926_2007 Item# 114081

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