Michel’s inky-colored 2015 Côte Rôtie is a profound powerhouse that’s loaded with notions of black raspberries, black cherries, toasted spices, spring flowers and hints of olives. Gorgeously pure, concentrated, full-bodied and seamless, it has no hard edges, fine, yet present tannin and terrific length. It’s a deep, rich, seriously impressive Côte Rôtie that will keep for more than 20 years. These releases from Michel Tardieu are all noteworthy, which should surprise no one who’s familiar with Michel’s wines. These are all brought up in barrels (some new), but the oak is rarely noticeable, and these wines show beautiful typicity. In this lineup, the St Péray, Côte Rôtie and Hermitage were the standouts. (JD)
Youthful violet. Ripe black and blue fruits, candied flowers and star anise on the deeply perfumed nose; a bright mineral overtone adds vivacity. Velvety, sweet and seamless in the mouth, offering concentrated blueberry, violet, licorice and spicecake flavors that tighten up slowly on the back half. Weighty but energetic, showing impressive closing thrust and sneaky tannins on the very long, blue-fruit-dominated finish.
100% Sérine and Syrah (50 years old), Landonne, Chavaroche, Côtes de Rozier, Les Rochains and Lancement. Two-thirds whole bunch, aged in new and one-year-old barrels. Purple. Particularly complex, multi-layered nose. Opulent and lifted with great salty savour on the finish. Very refined tannins. Bone dry on the end but rather haunting on the way to it. Riper fruit than usual. Edgy with light smoked-bacon notes. 17.5/20 points
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2016 Raymond Usseglio "Cuvée Impériale - Vignes Centenaires" Châteauneuf-du-Pape (Pre-Arrival)