Tardieu-Laurent Côte Rôtie 1998
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Gorgeous. Clean, fresh and pure aromas of violet, raspberry, cassis and fresh herbs blend nicely with an earthy tone. Medium-bodied, ripe and seductive, with a supple texture yet a long, elegant finish. 500 cases made.
International Wine Cellar
Long aging on the lees in a high percentage of new barriques (100% for the syrah bottlings), with minimal racking and use of sulfur, are among the keys to the three-dimensional texture and compelling sweetness of the Tardieu-Laurent wines. But a second summer in oak would be impossible were it not for the fact that their superb cellar in the bowels of the Lourmarin castle offers a stability of temperature enjoyed by few wine producers on the South of France. More important still is the quality of the raw materials, mostly from the best sites. Michel Tardieu has garnered a reputation throughout the Rhone Valley as a brillant selector of wines for the Tardieu-Laurent treatment. The '98s are worth a special search of the marketplace, and the '99s from the North are potentially at an even higher level. Deep ruby. Intensely spicy, highly aromatic nose combines cassis, violet, herbs, nutmeg and mace. Dry, backward and classic; still rather clenched owing to brisk acidity and not currently showing the thickness it displayed a year ago from barrel. But very much in the style of the vintage, with all the components for a long and exciting evolution in the bottle.