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Tardieu-Laurent Hermitage 2011

Tardieu-Laurent Hermitage 2011

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"Inky ruby. A highly perfumed bouquet evokes candied black and blue fruits, smoked bacon and violet. Pliant, appealingly sweet dark fruit flavors are sharpened by zesty acidity and become spicier with air. Bright, focused and pure, with excellent back-end power and smooth, well-knit tannins adding shape and grip to the sweet finish. 92-94 points.

Michel Tardieu and his son Bastien love the character of the 2012s in the north "because the fruit will let you enjoy them young but they also have the structure to age, although not forever." The big issue is simply that there's too little wine to go around, they added. "At the same time," said Michel, "international demand for high-end northern Rhone red wines is higher than it's ever been." Small negociants like the Tardieus are beginning to really feel the pressure, Michel added, because there are two problems: "More small growers are bottling their own wines and selling less fruit at higher prices, and the big negociants are increasing production and can afford to pay the higher prices." Fortunately for the Tardieu family, their relationships with growers go back many years; in many cases, these growers are friends whose fidelity can be counted on in the future, according to Bastien."

Josh Raynolds, Vinous (03/14)