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Introduction

Le bouche à oreille: word of mouth... This, according to Bastien Tardieu, is the secret to Tardieu-Laurent, micro-négociant extraordinaire.

Tardieu Family

Tardieu Laurent is a micro négociant-éleveur with exacting standards. When Michel Tardieu founded the business in 1996, only the very best raw ingredients would do. This meant finding the best growers, on the best parcels, almost always with the oldest vines.  

Michel and Bastien buy grapes from across the Rhône valley, vinifying in the regions where the grapes are picked and then maturing the wines under one roof in Lourmarin. 

Today, Michel & Bastien continue to place their longstanding relationships at the heart of Tardieu Laurent.

The 2021 vintage is a slight departure from the powerful vintages of the last few years, but the wines have a finesse and freshness that we think you will love. 

Neville Kirkpatrick, Fine Wine Sales
December 2022

2021: THE GROWING SEASON

In the words of Michel & Bastien Tardieu

The winery

Vintage 2021 was incontestably a thumb to the nose of the last “solar” vintages which we have seen recently in the Rhône Valley. A real 30 year flashback, typically reminiscent of more classical harvest dates in the Vindémiaire calendar and phenolic maturity from the 90s.. Indeed, this vintage has given us, on all levels, a lot of emotions. Blame it on the particularly capricious weather conditions, a sweet understatement!

The extreme frost episode from 7th to 9th April, with some temperatures nearing -10C, affected without exception almost all the French vineyards. It was cataclysmic in the vineyard - as thought the vine was brain dead for more than 3 weeks! Some vinegrowers thought they had lost their ancestral heritage. Miraculously, nature took back control. But this was not without consequences. The vine stocks were deeply tilted, even unbalanced. The 2nd shoots were anarchic, the labour work extremely complicated.

Fortunately, the beneficial rains throughout the vegetative cycle, the moderate temperature in the summer and a beautiful late autumn enabled us to approach harvest season with serenity.

Like every year, nature decides for us. This is what makes this job beautiful and delicate. But undeniably, 2021 will remain forever the vintage of a great “vigneron” (vinegrower).

THE WINES - TASTING NOTES BY GUY SEDDON

the winery

WHITE - SOUTHERN RHÔNE

The optimal maturities were reached with 1 to 1.5% lower alcohol than usual. Both the whites and the reds are beautifully balanced and offer remarkable natural acidity. The wines are aromatic, the fruit is flattering.

CÔTES-DU-RHÔNE BLANC NOBLES ORIGINES

Previously called Guy Louis, Nobles Origines is a blend of the northern and southern Rhône, which is uncommon. 35% Viognier, 20% Grenache Blanc (70+ years old), 15% Clairette, 15% Marsanne and 15% Roussanne (60+ years old). These declassified cru grapes include a third from Crozes-Hermitage. 100% barrel fermentation makes this a fuller bodied option than Becs Fins. Very food-friendly too, with delectable peach-driven flavours. Ripe and effusive, with no hint of a cooler growing season. Aged for eight months in new, one- and two-year-old barrels. 14% abv.

Corney & Barrow Score 17+
Recommended drinking from 2023–2026


£95/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

VACQUEYRAS BLANC

20% Grenache Blanc, 20% Roussanne, 20% Clairette, 15% Marsanne, 15% Viognier and 10% Bourboulenc. Apple and pears – a crunchy, orchard fruit nose, with lime zest. The palate is more seated, with a bitter, pithy-phenolic crunch. Aged for six months in one-year old barrels and eight months in two-year-old barrels. 13.5% abv.

Corney & Barrow Score 16.5
Recommended drinking from 2023–2025


£125/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE BLANC VIEILLES VIGNES

This comes from three sites around Châteauneuf. 40% Grenache Blanc (60+ years old), 25% Roussanne, 20% Clairette, 10% Bourboulenc and 5% Piquepoul. Peppery, peachy aromas. The palate is flinty and precise, the pastried generosity not detracting from the overall drive and tension here. A crowd-pleasing wine, fabulous. Fermented in barrel with eight months lees contact, a little of the Roussanne being aged in new oak barrels. Michel says that in Burgundian terms, this would be a Pouilly-Fuissé... 13.5% abv.

Corney & Barrow Score 17.5 - 18
Recommended drinking from 2023–2027


£220/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK
Bastien Tardieu in Cellars

RED - SOUTHERN RHÔNE

The optimal maturities were reached with 1 to 1.5% lower alcohol than usual. Both the whites and the reds are beautifully balanced and offer remarkable natural acidity. The wines are aromatic, the fruit is flattering.

CÔTES-DU-RHÔNE, LES BECS FINS

This comes from the big, rounded gallets pebbles of the Gard. It is all destemmed. 70% Grenache (60 years old) and 30% Syrah (30 years old). Deep, bright ruby colour. Sensitive, bright raspberry fruit and lifted bitter cherry, with supple tannins and vivacious acidity. Lovely wine. This spends 10 months ageing in concrete tanks. 14.5% abv, totally integrated.

Corney & Barrow Score 17+
Recommended drinking from 2022–2025


£145/CASE OF 12 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

CÔTES-DU-RHÔNE, NOBLES ORIGINES

This is the wine previously known as Guy Louis. This all comes from declassified cru holdings. It comes from various southern Rhône villages, including Rasteau, Vacqueyras and Beaumes de Venise, with the majority from Lirac, on the western side of the Rhône. 70% Grenache (50+ years old), 20% Syrah (40+ years old, from Rasteau) and 10% Mourvèdre (30-40 years old). One third whole bunches were used, as usual. Violets and fine peppery spice on the nose. The palate is a step up in concentration and energy from Les Becs Fins, with a touch more structure. As always, a couple of years in bottle will be repaid here. Aged for 10 months in one- and two-year-old barrels, then for eight months in old oak foudres. 14.5% abv.

Corney & Barrow Score 17.5
Recommended drinking from 2024–2029


£95/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

CÔTES-DU-RHÔNE CUVÉE SPÉCIALE

This is a100% whole bunch vinification of Grenache, from 70-year-old vines on the border of the Châteauneuf appellation. White pepper and herby spice aromas, leading into a palate of dense raspberry fruit, structured fruit-coated tannins and bitter chocolate. Violets and garrigue on the finish. It spends eight months in two- and three-year-old barrels, then ten months in foudres. Lovely delicacy this year. 14.5% abv.

Corney & Barrow Score 17.5
Recommended drinking from 2024–2028


£95/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK
£115/CASE OF 3 MAGNUMS, IN BOND UK

RASTEAU VIEILLES VIGNES

70% Grenache (the vines of which are a magnificent 80 years old), 15% Syrah and 15% Mourvèdre (both ‘only’ 40 years old). 100% destemmed in 2021. The warmest place in the southern Rhône, Rasteau can also be wonderfully ephemeral, flirtatious even. The oldest vines here were planted in 1921, so are centenarians this year. Sinewy, delicate red berry fruit with great purity and orange rind on the finish. Part comes from a site called La Montagne, at 300 metres of elevation. Aged for 10 months in one- and two-year-old barrels, then for a further 10 months in foudres. 14.5% abv.

Corney & Barrow Score 17 +
Recommended drinking from 2025–2030


£115/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

VACQUEYRAS VIEILLES VIGNES

If Rasteau is flirtatious, Vacqueyras is usually earthier and more leathered – it is the driest part of the southern Rhône. Half of this wine comes from sandy soils which, in combination with cool aspects, lend a silkiness to the tannins. 70% Grenache (over 60 years old), 20% Syrah and 10% Mourvèdre (both 40 years old). 100% destemmed in 2021. Lovely pure, intense old-vine raspberry fruit aromas emerge from behind a whiff of flinty reduction (when tasted in November 2022). The palate is open and so pretty, juicy red berry fruit, with top notes of fresh mint and tomato vines. Remarkably open this year, I would be tempted to start on the 2021 earlier than usual. Aged for 10 months in one- and two-year-old barrels before a further 10 months in foudres. 14.5% abv.

Corney & Barrow Score 17.5
Recommended drinking from 2025–2030+


£125/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

GIGONDAS

The ‘basic’ Gigondas is a blend of fours plots. 80% Grenache, 20% Syrah, from vines over 40 years old. A third whole-bunch fermented. Very pretty, lifted aromas of violet and raspberry, with coffee beans and bitter chocolate. The palate is succulent and brightly red-fruited, with impressive density, framed by supple tannins. Blueberry and wintery spices on the finish. Aged for 10 months in one- and two-year-old barrels and then 10 months in old oak foudres. 14.5% abv.

Corney & Barrow Score 17.5
Recommended drinking from 2025–2032


£125/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

GIGONDAS VIEILLES VIGNES

This old vine Gigondas cuvée comes from five plots in Gigondas, at around 400 metres of altitude, from the Dentelles foothills. 90% Grenache, 5% Syrah and 5% Mourvèdre, ranging from 40 to over 100 years old. A quarter whole-bunch fermented. Darkly fruited aromas of blackcurrant and bitter cherry, pure and with a hint of gaminess. The palate is a step up in tannic finesse, with impressive richness of fruit. Aged for 10 months in one- and two-year-old barrels and then 12 months in old oak foudres. 14.5% abv.

Corney & Barrow Score 17.5+
Recommended drinking from 2027–2035


£150/ CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK
£165/CASE OF 3 MAGNUMS, IN BOND UK

CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE

This comes from five plots in Châteauneuf and is 75% Grenache, 10% Syrah, 10% Mourvèdre and 5% Cinsault. The Grenache and Cinsault is 60 to 80 years old, the Syrah 40 years old. Sweet spices – a touch more oak in evidence here. The palate is juicy and beguilingly pretty, that rich, soft, supple texture which Grenache does so well. This is a refined wine in 2021, which seems to suit Châteauneuf rather well. As usual, this over-delivers. Half whole-bunch vinified. Aged for 10 months in one- and two-year-old barrels, followed by 10 months in old oak foudres. 14.5% abv.

Corney & Barrow Score 17.5+
Recommended drinking from 2024–2028


£195/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE VIEILLES VIGNES

This comes from five old-vine plots. It is 80% Grenache (80-100 years old), 15% Mourvèdre (60 years old) and 5% Syrah (50 years old). There are 30cm of gallets roulets, then red clay. Richer and sweeter than the previous, with more red fruited, shiny-sheeny personality and verve. A half whole-bunch vinified. Aged for 12 months in one-year-old barrels, then for 12 months in foudres. 14.5% abv.

Corney & Barrow Score 17.5 - 18
Recommended drinking from 2026–2034


£255/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

CHÂTEAUNEUF-DU-PAPE CUVÉE SPÉCIALE

Made from century-old vines at the base of La Crau on sandy soils, this is effectively a Grenache-only Châteauneuf (with 1% “other varieties”). 100% whole-bunch fermented. Herbal, garrigue-infused aromas, leading into a forceful, blueberry-hued palate of firm (but fine) tannins and strident raspberry fruit. Polished rather than wild, an exciting wine. Aged for one year in old oak barrels and then a further year in foudre. 14.5% abv.

Corney & Barrow Score 18+
Recommended drinking from 2028–2038


£275/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK
£290 / CASE OF 3 MAGNUMS, IN BOND UK
Cellars

WHITE - NORTHERN RHÔNE

In 2021 the whites saw a return to an almost forgotten style, with less power but sustained acidity levels. They are fresh and made for ageing, superb!

CROZES-HERMITAGE BLANC VIEILLES VIGNES

80% Marsanne and 20% Roussanne, from three different sites, with an average age of over 50 years. Pastry and white peach aromas, all very refined. The chalky-mineral palate’s crunchy pear and green citrus fruit puts the terroir centre-stage – very nice. This spends eight months in a combination of new and used barrels, then is very lightly filtered, with no fining. 13% abv.

Corney & Barrow Score 16.5 - 17
Recommended drinking from 2023–2026


£150/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

SAINT-JOSEPH BLANC VIEILLES VIGNES

85% Marsanne and 15% Roussanne, from three different sites, aged 30-40 years. 2021 is the third vintage of this wine. Delicate, pure aromas of apricot and orange blossom. The palate is more demonstrative, with a fleshiness which exceeds even 2020. Intellectual, with a touch of luxury. Nice salty minerality on the finish. Aged for 12 months in a mixture of new and used barrels. Bottled after a very light filtration, without fining. 13% abv.

Corney & Barrow Score 17.5+
Recommended drinking from 2023–2027


£165/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

SAINT-PÉRAY VIEILLES VIGNES

Bastien Tardieu calls this “the little Hermitage Blanc”. 75% Marsanne (50-100 years old) and 25% Roussanne (40+ years old). Rich and smoky-cedary on the nose, with the usual touch of bacon fat and salty granularity. The palate is gratifyingly viscous, lifted by the poised 2021 acidity and a palate-cleansing seam of rock salt minerality on the finish. Really good, the best for some time. Another wine well suited to 2021. Aged for 12 months in a mixture of new and one-year-old barrels. 13.5% abv.

Corney & Barrow Score 17.5
Recommended drinking from 2023–2027


£160/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

HERMITAGE BLANC

80% Marsanne and 20% Roussanne. The Marsanne is over 50 years old, whilst the Roussanne is over 40 years old. This is best enjoyed at 8-10 years of age, according to Michel Tardieu. Never an overtly aromatic wine, this is all about the texture. The palate is tightly knit, with an impressive power beneath the surface. White peach and apricot waiting in the wings. Compressed and taut, this is a wine in gestation which will surely blossom in the fullness of time. Fermented and aged in new and one-year old barrel, then transferred for another year to Stockinger Austrian foudres (which the Tardieus are using more and more). 13.5% abv.

Corney & Barrow Score 18
Recommended drinking from 2024–2029


£295/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK
£310 / CASE OF 3 MAGNUMS, IN BOND UK
Bottles

RED - NORTHERN RHÔNE

The reds exude pepper and violet notes and the tannins are fine, delicate and have a certain ease about them. They will please the nostalgic drinker, reminding of years gone by when vignerons were searching for maturity but not always finding it. 

Several of the Tardieu-Laurent wines are labelled as ‘Vieilles Vignes’, or ‘VV’. While there is no fixed definition of this, Michel and Bastien consider an average of 40 years to be the minimum for a wine to be designated as such.

SAINT-JOSEPH VIEILLES VIGNES

100% Syrah and Serine, Serine being an ancient clone of Syrah, the berries of which are more oval-shaped and less deeply pigmented than Syrah. The former vines are over 60 years old, the latter 100-120+ years old! 100% destemmed. Sappy and cohesive, with compressed violets and crushed roses. Dark and chocolatey. Bastien Tardieu has likened this to Burgundy’s Chambolle-Musigny, which is a good comparison – darker perhaps but there is a real elegance here, along with fine tannins and a long, perfumed finish. Aged for 10 months in barrel, then six months in foudre. 12.5% abv.

Corney & Barrow Score 17.5 +
Recommended drinking from 2025–2030


£170/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

CROZES-HERMITAGE VIEILLES VIGNES

100% Syrah/Serine, from 60-year-old vines. There is one third whole bunch fermentation here. This comes from four sites: Larnage, Battis, Gervans and Habrard. Peppery and darkly fruited, super aromatic – what a shift from the southern Rhônes tasted immediately before! The palate is deft and mineral, so light on its feet. Love this. Following fermentation, it is aged for 12 months in new and one-year-old barrels, then spends six months in foudres. 13% abv.

Corney & Barrow Score 17.5+
Recommended drinking from 2025–2030


£145/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK
£160/CASE OF 3 MAGNUMS, IN BOND UK

CORNAS

Cornas is known as the “vin noir”, and you can see why as soon as you pour it – inky and glass-staining, with a bright purple rim. 100% Syrah/Serine, 60 to 100 years old. It comes from four prime plots, including Les Chaillots, Les Reynards, Les Savaux and Patou, on typical granite soils. A third whole bunch fermentation. If St-Joseph is Chambolle-Musigny, this is Chambolle’s wild cousin from out of town. As is the way with Tardieu-Laurent, it is impeccably fruited, pristine even, but beneath the surface is that beguiling energy and meaty lust for life, the yin and yang working to great effect. Aged for 12 months in new and one year-old barrels, then spends another 12 months in foudres. 13% abv.

Corney & Barrow Score 17.5
Recommended drinking from 2026–2035


£210/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK

CÔTE-RÔTIE VIEILLES VIGNES

From the Côte Brune, this is the fifth vintage of this wine, which is sourced from the prime vineyards of Landonne, Lancement and Chavaroche. The vines here are 60-70 years old on average. 100% whole bunch vinified. Violet and dark pepper aromas, with a hint of sauvage. The palate is impressively concentrated, with pure dark fruit and particularly fine tannins. This is aged for 12 months in new and one-year-old barrels, then for 12 months in foudres. 12.5% abv.

Corney & Barrow Score 18
Recommended drinking from 2026–2036


£350/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK
£365/CASE OF 3 MAGNUMS, IN BOND UK

HERMITAGE

This comes from five plots, including the prestigious Le Meal. 100% Serine/Syrah, from 60-year-old vines. 100% destemmed. An aromatic delight, this opens with spicy, peppery dark berries, moving through violets, sweet spices and gaminess. The overriding sensation is fruit purity. The palate is both flavour-packed and light on its feet, the intense sweet spice and blackcurrant flavours delineated by fine tannins and crisp, buoyant acidity. Fabulous wine in 2021. Aged for a year in new and one year-old barrels, then for another year in foudres. One of the pinnacles of the line-up. 13% abv. 

Corney & Barrow Score 18.5+
Recommended drinking from 2026–2038


£335/CASE OF 6 BOTTLES, IN BOND UK
£350/CASE OF 3 MAGNUMS, IN BOND UK

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