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Tardieu-Laurent Hermitage 2014

Tardieu-Laurent Hermitage 2014

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"Vivid purple. High-pitched aromas of fresh black and blue fruits, potpourri and smoky minerals, along with an exotic hint of apricot. Sappy and seamless on the palate, offering juicy blueberry and violet pastille flavors that tighten up and become spicier with aeration. Fine-grained tannins build steadily on the finish, which lingers with excellent tenacity and resonating florality. 92-94 points.

The low yields in the northern Rhône in recent vintages have put a serious crimp in Michel and Bastien Tardieu's production. "That's an awful irony because the quality in both '13 and '14 is so high," Bastien told me. He added that their 2013s "evaporated" almost immediately after release since almost 25% less wine than normal was made. The Tardieus continue to build up their collection of large wooden tanks and foudresbecause they believe that "the extra time they allow for élevagegives better texture and aromatic complexity" than they achieved in the past, when they leaned almost exclusively on smaller barrels."

Josh Raynolds, Vinous (03/16)