Tardieu Laurent is one of the most acclaimed artisan-négociants throughout the Rhône Valley, and shares a lot of similarities with Mounir Saouma from Burgundy Lucien Le Moine. The Tardieu Family has secured long-term, hand-shake deals with vignerons who carefully guard the prime location of their 50- to 100-plus-year-old vines. They follow very closely all the stages from organic viticulture to winemaking. They also hand-pick the barrels they deliver to the growers for the first 8 to 12 months and then move them back to the Tardieu’s cellar in Lourmarin to polish the ageing up to 18-24 months.
Bandol is located near the coast east of Marseille and Cassis. It is also is one of the three oldest appellations in Provence, created in 1941 (the others being Cassis and Bellet). The vineyards of Bandol cover almost 1600ha, in a vast amphitheatre, sloping southwards towards the sea and sheltered by the massif of Sainte Baume (1147m) to the north. The terraced slopes are composed of eroded layers of clay and limestone.
95% Mourvèdre, 5% Grenache, both 50+ years old. 100% destemmed, clay-limestone of Le Castellet. 24 months in one- and two-year-old barrels (Allier and Tronçais). No fining, no filtration.
Dark crimson. Meaty, hedonistic nose with masses of juice and immediate appeal yet with a firm if brooding backbone. Real energy on this wine. Tannins aplenty. Food essential, and probably cool northern European climate would help but this is a very successful wine.
17.5 points Jancis Robinson
◊ Producer's page ◊ Producer's website ◊
◊ Tech sheet ◊