Maison Tardieu Laurent - Châteauneuf du Pape - Cuvée Spéciale

Sensual and perfumed, this Cuvée once more stands apart, thanks to its refinement, its mellow tannins, its aromatic complexity… and thanks to an energy which goes beyond the standards. Definitely a “must keep” in your Cellars !

Story

The vintage
Strange and paradoxical… This vintage has reserved us quite a few surprises, and
still raises questions. Although described as « Great » by some Vignerons, its strong
heterogeneity, depending on the sectors, imposes us to be attentive, measured, though hopeful.
2018 : the vegetative cycle is early. Spring sees generous rains and heat strokes
alternate. According to “Elders”, from memory one has to get back to the 60’ to observe such pressure of diseases in the vineyard. And, unfortunately for some Domaines, the processing windows would, in the main, only open at the week-ends… The vintage therefore promises to be technically complicated, demanding meticulous, tedious, even relentless work, in the vineyards. Damage and losses vary… but yields on Grenache are historically low… Providentially, once again, we could count on Mother Nature’s final “nudge” ! Without hesitation we can assert that the quality of the remaining grapes, the quality of their juice, is mainly due to a brilliant month of September.
Indeed, the weather conditions during the harvest were almost perfect. Cool but sunny weather, with well-marked, valued, thermal amplitudes… The Vigneron was able to choose in all serenity the ideal moment to harvest, plot of land by plot of land, without having to operate any constrained arbitration…
Terroir
Bas de la Crau.
Nature des sols
Sand.
Ageing
12 months in two and three vintages barrels - Allier et Tronçais. Then 12 months in foudre.
Vinification
100% non destemmed.
Varietals
Grenache : 99%
Autre : 1%
Specifications
Age of vines: More than 100 ans ans
Alcohol content: 14,5% % vol.
Mise en bouteille: Without fining and filtration.

Advice

Serving
14°C
Decant 2 hours before tasting.
Tasting notes
Shaped like a Bourgogne ! Clear color, intense nose on the faded rose and the peony. The mouth is chiselled, quite in restraint. Worth forgetting for a good decade !

Reviews

94-96+/100
"All from sandy soils and not destemmed, the 2018 Châteauneuf Du Pape Cuvée Speciale comes all from the western part of the La Crau lieu-dit and was brought up in a mix of barrels and foudres. It offers incredible black cherries, blueberries, ground pepper, and ample meaty, charcuterie notes as well as a powerful, opulent, yet concentrated and balanced style on the palate. Almost all Grenache (there’s a splash of other varieties), it’s a brilliant wine that’s loaded with personality."
17,5/20
"Mid crimson. Lifted nose with real energy. Round and sweet and distinctly burgundian. Such a flirt! Great fruit/acid balance and raciness. Bravissimo. Quite a tour de force. Focus, weight and lift. Denser than the regular Chateauneuf 2018 from this producer. "
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94-96/100
"Overtones of vanilla and cedar mark the nose of the 2018 Chateauneuf du Pape Cuvee Speciale, joined by vibrant raspberries, hints of orange zest, salted licorice and garrigue. It's refreshingly complex when stacked up against the other T-L Châteauneufs, medium to full-bodied and concentrated without being hot or heavy, yet richly textured and long on the finish."
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