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Masterful 2016s from a Top Châteauneuf-du-Pape Estate - 12/15/2017 - Rhone Valley

In case you haven’t heard, the 2016 vintage in the Rhone was downright monumental. While the 2015s are a true return to form, the 2016s take things to a new level entirely. These are wines that critics and collectors will be talking about for decades to come. One of our favorite producers from Châteauneuf is Tardieu Laurent. Known for making wines in a sleek and modern style, the 2016s left wine critic Jeb Dunnuck very much impressed. Both the "Vieilles Vignes" and the "Cuvée Spéciale" are dark and concentrated efforts that show the opulence this historic region can achieve in an optimal vintage. Given the huge press the 2016s are receiving, we expect demand to be very high, hence purchasing via pre-arrival is the best way to secure your bottles and best pricing. Anyone who is a fan of the Rhone will want to go deep on the 2016s with these offerings from Tardieu Laurent counting among our top picks.

Vintage Item Name Score Retail Link
2016 Tardieu Laurent "Vieilles Vignes" Chateauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival) 95 $49.99 View
2016 Tardieu-Laurent "Cuvée Spéciale" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival) 97 $59.99 View
2016 Tardieu-Laurent "Cuvée Spéciale" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (1.5L) (Pre-Arrival) 97 $129.99 View


2016 Tardieu Laurent "Vieilles Vignes" Chateauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival) ($49.99)

93-95 points Vinous: "Deep bright-rimmed ruby. A complex, highly perfumed bouquet evokes ripe red and blue fruit, exotic spice and floral aromas complemented by a vibrant mineral quality that builds as the wine stretches out. Sweet, seamless and broad on the palate, offering concentrated raspberry, boysenberry and spicecake flavors that show superb clarity and focus. The mineral and floral components drive an extremely long, smooth finish given shape by rounded, harmonious tannins. This wine's interplay of depth and clarity is pretty impressive. (JR)" (07/2018)

92-94 points Jeb Dunnuck: "A wine well worth the extra effort to track down will be the 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieilles Vignes. A step up over the classic cuvée, with both more richness as well as elegance, it offers perfumed aromatics of black raspberries, spice cake, incense, and flowers. Beautifully concentrated, with a terrific mid-palate, it will keep for 15+ years." (10/2017)

Jancis Robinson: "Mid crimson. Real lift to this wine. Very aromatic and then so sweet and round on the palate! You want to gobble it up immediately. The tannins can, just, be discerned underneath but its already all charm, spice and intensity. Great balance though no shortage of alcohol ...18/20 points (JR)" (09/2017)

2016 Tardieu-Laurent "Cuvée Spéciale" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival) ($59.99)

95-97 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The tiny production 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Spéciale is Grenache dominated and comes from 100-year-old vines planted in the sandy portions of the famed la Crau lieu-dit. It looks to be one of the stars in the vintage. Blackberries, pepper, violets, and earth all emerge from this full-bodied, massively concentrated, Grenache that has sweet tannin, no hard edges and the opulence and purity of this sensational vintage." (10/2017)

94-96 points Vinous: "Bright violet. Expansive aromas of red and blue fruit preserves, exotic spices and incense develop a sexy potpourri element with air. Broad, seamless and deep in the mouth, offering intense black raspberry, cherry liqueur and spicecake flavors braced and sharpened by a core of juicy acidity. The floral note comes back steadily as the wine opens in the glass and carries through a sweet, strikingly long, subtly tannic finish that shows outstanding clarity. (JR)" (07/2018)

Jancis Robinson: "Not as deeply crimson as the other two 2016 Châteauneufs from this producer. The sand may explain. Very fragrant and lifted. Already quite expressive on the nose, and apparently not as dense as its stablemates. Very round and charming on the front palate. Masses of both tannin and acidity underneath but its the smoothly polished fruit that grabs the attention. Theres a note of tamarind as well as of red glacé cherries here. All pleasure but it definitely should evolve further. Rich red fruit. Extra complexity already compared with the Vieilles Vignes version. (RH) 18.5/20" (09/2017)

2016 Tardieu-Laurent "Cuvée Spéciale" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (1.5L) (Pre-Arrival) - 11 available ($129.99)

95-97 points Jeb Dunnuck: "The tiny production 2016 Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Spéciale is Grenache dominated and comes from 100-year-old vines planted in the sandy portions of the famed la Crau lieu-dit. It looks to be one of the stars in the vintage. Blackberries, pepper, violets, and earth all emerge from this full-bodied, massively concentrated, Grenache that has sweet tannin, no hard edges and the opulence and purity of this sensational vintage.I tasted six whites from Tardieu-Laurent, all of which were noteworthy, and this estates relatively modern, yet clean, pure style always produced a terrific white Id be happy to drink." (10/2017)

94-96 points Vinous: "Bright violet. Expansive aromas of red and blue fruit preserves, exotic spices and incense develop a sexy potpourri element with air. Broad, seamless and deep in the mouth, offering intense black raspberry, cherry liqueur and spicecake flavors braced and sharpened by a core of juicy acidity. The floral note comes back steadily as the wine opens in the glass and carries through a sweet, strikingly long, subtly tannic finish that shows outstanding clarity. (JR)" (07/2018)