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Tardieu-Laurent Les Becs Fins Cotes du Rhone Rouge 2009

Rhone Red Blends from Cotes du Rhone, Rhone, France
  • RP90
  • WS90
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Winemaker Notes

Very severe, strict sorting selections, which made quantities quite small. Notes of red cherries, blackberries and forest floor on the nose. An elegant, medium-bodied red with silky tannins and good acidity, making it ideal for drinking over the next several years.

Critical Acclaim

RP 90
The Wine Advocate

A wine that is also already in bottle and a terrific bargain is the 2009 Cotes du Rhone-Villages Les Becs Fins. Aged totally in tank, this blend is dominated by Grenache, with some Syrah, Cinsault, and Mourvedre. A relatively large cuvee by Michel Tardieu’s standards, it exhibits super-deep black raspberry and blackberry fruit intermixed with licorice, lavender, and a hint of Provencal herbs. Round, corpulent, generous, and full-bodied, it is a dazzling effort for this price point and can be drunk over the next 4-5 years.

WS 90
Wine Spectator

A dark, sappy, winey core of blackberry, crushed cherry and currant paste fruit flavors are backed by maduro tobacco notes and a twinge of anise, with a mouthfilling finish. Drink now through 2012. 1,088 cases imported.

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Tardieu-Laurent

Tardieu-Laurent

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Tardieu-Laurent, , France - Rhone
Tardieu-Laurent
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.

Known for bold reds, crisp whites, and distinctive sparkling and fortified wines, Spain has embraced international varieties and wine styles while continuing to place the primary emphasis upon its own native grapes. Though the country’s climate is diverse, it is generally warm to hot. In the center of the country lies a vast, dry plateau known as the Meseta Central, characterized by extremely hot summers and frequent drought. Because of its location on the Iberian Peninsula, many of Spain’s wine regions are located on or near the milder coast, either of the Bay of Biscay to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the northwest, or the Mediterranean sea to the south and east. Each of these regions has its own unique soil, climate, and topography, as well as principal grape varieties.

In the cool, damp northwest region of Galicia, refreshing white Albariño and Verdejo dominate, though elsewhere the most popular wines are generally red. Rioja is Spain’s best-known region, where earthy, age-worthy reds are made from Tempranillo and Garnacha (Grenache), as well as rich, nutty whites from Viura. Ribera del Duero produces opulent, fruity, top-quality wines from almost exclusively Tempranillo. Priorat, a sub-region of Catalonia, blends Garnacha with Cariñena (Carignan) to make bold, full-bodied wines with a hint of earthiness. Catalonia is also home to Cava, a sparkling wine made in the traditional method but from indigenous varieties. Sherry, Spain’s famous fortified wine, is produced in a wide range of styles from dry to lusciously sweet at the country’s southern tip in Jerez. Since the 1990s, international varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Sauvignon Blanc have been steadily increasing in importance in several regions.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

RPT90420398_2009 Item# 110347

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