One more huge Hermitage Cuvée. A lot of concentration. It will take very long in the Cellars before it is time to open a bottle… But the most patient Wine lovers will be highly rewarded.
The vintage

Autumn 2003, very rainy, has allowed a good reinstatement of the water reserves in the soils. The Autumn rains have fallen softly and regularly, thus helping to restore the water tables steadily. Winter, cold and dry, has lasted longer, and the opening of the buds has taken place about one week later than for the three previous Vintages. The vegetative cycle has carried on gently in the course of Spring 2004, under a fairly mild climate, with rare rainfalls - even rarer after April the Mistral maintaining a quasi perfect healthy state till the crop. A hot and dry weather will prevail till August 15th, ideal for the growth of few bunches with small berries. The water reserves being close to shortage, many a Vigneron has feared that the crop would never reach its Phenolic ripeness. The storm at mid August has been the Saviour. It restored the Vignerons confidence : the water tables being back to correct levels, the ripening would be achieve in ideal conditions.
The huge differences between day and night temperatures have helped the synthesis of the anthocyanes responsible for the colour, and have been a factor of an equilibrium sugar/acidity that is obviously positive for the global balance of the Wines. The Vignerons have been able to wait till each of their Vines had reached an optimal ripeness an opportunity that is not so frequent : tasting the berries would then show expressive aromas and silky tannins, both revealing a Great Vintage… The harvest could begin ! The vinifications have developed nicely. Thanks to berries that were perfectly healthy, the colour and the substance have been obtained by gentle ways, with minimal interventions on the Wine. The alcoholic fermentations have ended without problem, apart from these few Cuvées that have lingered a little because they are so high in natural alcohol. For the most part, the malo-lactic fermentations have occurred in our own casks, which has helped the Wines retaining the deep colours they had from birth. Quite obviously, 2004 is an outstanding Vintage. It is bound to become a Classic, with Wines which will keep very long indeed, Wines which will also give an immense Pleasure from their young age… Wines ever produced by “Tardieu-Laurent”.
In any case, 2003 Vintage is under the sign of the sun, the sun which, by the way, has taken its share of the crop : the yields are low, if the Quality is quite promising… After a few months élevage, the Wines display dark and intense colours, and a lot of power. The degrees are very high in the North as well as in the South, but the overall balance of the Wines
remains good.
As an ultimate clue, the length on the palate of some Cuvées is quite fascinating... Fat, powerful, the white Wines show a superlative potential : they might reveal to be the best white Wines ever produced by “Tardieu-Laurent”.

Terroir

Piérelles, Beaumes.

Ageing

New barrels. Allier and Tronçais.

Alcohol content

13,5%

Mise en bouteille

Manually, with light filtration.

Cépages

Marsanne
Roussanne