“These 2015s Are Hold Onto Your Hat Good!”
Earning 95 points from Wine Spectator, from the incredible 2015 vintage and the near-mythical La Crau lieu-dit, this Châteauneuf-du-Pape joins terrific fruit purity with elegance and smoky, spicy aromatics. Of the 2015 Tardieu-Laurent lineup, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate says: “Michel Tardieu and his son Bastien, with the help of consultant Philippe Cambie, continue to make a rich, full-bodied, concentrated style of wine from throughout the Southern Rhône Valley. While they made some solid 2014s, these 2015s are hold on to your hat good!” Previous vintages sold for $75; Wine Access signed up for the entire U.S. allocation of this best-ever 2015 in order to offer exclusively at the winery-direct price of $49.99 a bottle!
Michel Tardieu is among France’s most acclaimed negociants, boasting what Robert Parker calls “exceptional knowledge about some of the finest vineyards and grape sources in both the northern and southern Rhône.” Joined by his son Bastien and famed enologist Philippe Cambie, Tardieu has released an array of stunners that eloquently showcase the Rhône Valley’s wind-streaked terroir, in the process racking up dozens of 94-96 point scores over the years.
In seeking out the best sites for this 2015 CdP, Tardieu once again struck gold with a batch of fruit from La Crau, the famed lieu-dit whose status has reached near-mythical levels as the principal component in the revered Châteauneuf of Domaine du Vieux Télégraphe. He rounded out the Grenache-Syrah-Cinsault mix with fruit from Les Bedines (a favorite of Xavier Vignon’s), Les Gardioles, and Coste Froide. Critics from Jeb Dunnuck to Jancis Robinson fell for the lush, ruby-red release, with Wine Spectator laying on 95 points, calling it “rock-solid.”
The oft-quoted “rule of 5” in France holds that vintages which end in 5 are often very good. Looking at the success of 2015, 2005, 1995, and 1985, it’s hard to disagree. Wine Spectator rated the 2015 Southern Rhône vintage 97 points, a height achieved a precious few times in past decades. Nearly every season cooperated, with the rainy winter providing vines with deep water reserves, spring accompanied by perfect flowering, a summer whose heat was balanced by cool nights, and an autumn that saw precipitation arrive in the nick of time to quench the soil’s thirst. The result is a benchmark Châteauneuf-du-Pape with the power and structure to age for over a decade, but also the harmonious integration and soft tannins to drink beautifully today.
Editor-in-Chief, Wine Access
Contributing Writer, Food & Wine