MICHEL TARDIEU - NORDRHONE Cote Rotie 2016
2016 is a very mature year, but due to the strong day / night differences it has a very high acidity. Accordingly, the pH values are very low. The acidity and freshness is again significantly higher than 2010. However, the tannin and alcohol levels are the same as in 2010. Expressed in numbers: the south is around 14.5% - 15% alcohol, the north at 13%. The decisive factor for the balance, however, is this freshness and high acidity, which both father and son Tardieu have never seen before. Accordingly, the Rhone Bordeaux follows, because everything also impresses with this fantastic balance and absolute harmony. The other special feature, which also existed in Bordeaux and on the Rhone, is that red and white wines are sensational. Actually logical, because if the alcohol gradation has not exploded and the acid has been preserved, then of course the white wines benefit to the same extent. Analogies to previous years: Tardieu compares 2016 with 1990 with the highest possible agreement. That applies to the southern Rhône. The North Rhone is more like 1991. Of course, 20 years have passed, higher re-aging and even better and more organic work in the vineyards. So base 1990 and 1991 with a small turbocharger in the development. Despite this large class of the 2016 vintage, the same applies on the Rhone as in Bordeaux: the quantities are absolutely satisfactory. So there was no scarce harvest. Outstanding "best ever" qualities in both regions with good quantities at the same time. The winemaker is particularly pleased about this. All in all for the Rhone it can be said that it is a very good year for the Syrah, but an extremely good year for the Grenache. Accordingly, the South Rhône is clearly “best ever” and the North Rhône at a level that is close to 2015. But the year 2015 does not exceed it. The Southern Rhône has never been as good as it was in 2016. The Cote Rotie consists of 100% Serine grapes, which is also called Petit Syrah, the original form of Syrah with the significantly smaller, thick-skinned and acid-laden berries. Here 2/3 is not de-stemmed, i.e. spontaneously fermented as a whole grape in the wood. The vines are 70 years old. The alcohol is only moderate 12.5%. This Cote Rotie is made of both Landonne (slate floors) and Lancement (granite floors). This is different from the past, as the grapes used to come exclusively from Landonne and slate. The expansion takes place 100% in the new barrique. Then he goes into the wood powder. Like all other wines, it is neither filtered nor refined. The huge difference between Hermitage and Cote Rotie, the two most expensive locations on the Rhone, is the underground. Here with these slate and granite floors, which are not available in this form in the Hermitage, and then of course the even greater coolness in Cote Rotie and the predominant percentage of Rappen during fermentation. A tradition in Cote Rotie, not at all in Hermitage. But that's nice because it makes these wines so totally different. And in this 2016 Cote Rotie, we have the black horses right at the front. We are so much in Burgundy, so much with Dujac or Henry Roch. So spicy, and the whole thing underlaid with licorice and lots of red fruit in the form of crushed raspberry, red cherry, sloe. But not coming across sweetly, but herb-spicy, intense. This 2016 Cote Rotie is 100% blind to the nose of a Jamet. Probably the hottest winery in Cote Rotie in addition to the much more stylish Stephane Ogier. The two cult superstars. But if we are completely honest, we can easily put Michel Tardieu in between. But then it just costs less and is also available. Jamet, no chance for me. Ogier costs three times as much. After this wonderful approach to the nose, there is a mouth that amazes again. I would have expected this smokiness and spiciness in extension. Yes, we also have the smoke and the spice, but also an uncanny delicacy. We have pure culture here in 2016. Tannins abundant, but totally polished, polished. Everything silky, playful. So much salt that the eyes contract, the tongue rolls. The whole thing doesn't want to stop. Everything runs in a raspberry / cherry mixture in such an infinite delicacy, in such a playful way. Yes, we have rappen wort, but it supports this wonderfully delicate tannin carpet with this salty raspberry / cherry fruit floating in it. It is harmony like the other star in Cote Rotie. That is infinite delicacy. Like Lancement from Ogier. Something that we also found in Michel's two chateauufs. Something of infinitely playful. However, you have to tell the consumer: If you order Jamet, you should get something like what we get here at Michel Tardieu. And he has to know that before. It's not Cote Rotie like Chapoutier.