Tasted with Guillaume Tardy in Vosne-Romanée, 6th May 2015.
Domaine Jean Tardy et Fils
46 Départementale 974,
Tel: +33 3 80 61 11 86+33 3 80 61 11 86
I visited Guillaume just after lots of rain, he said that there was some pressure for mildew, but first treatments had been made and it looked fine. His Echézeaux really collects water in the soil, so he’s waiting another day to enter.
The Tardy family originally hail from Flagey-Echézeaux. It was Victor Tardy, who, in the 1920s began to work for Domaine Camuzet, and in 1945 Etienne Camuzet, passed to him some vineyards in ‘métayage’ – Victor was, with Henri Jayer, one of the 4 original métayeurs of the Camuzet estate. In 1966 Victor’s son, Jean took over responsibility for the vines, and in this time, more vines came from Méo-Camuzet: Nuits St Georges 1er Boudots, Vosne-Romanée 1er cru Chaumes, and Clos de Vougeot vines in Grands Maupertuis – these stayed with domaine Tardy until the 2007 vintage.
Jean’s son, Guillaume, first joined the domaine in 1997 before working in Australia – he returned in 2000 and took over responsibility in 2003. The domaine was ‘reconstructed’ in the years that followed the return of the Méo-Camuzet vines to Jean-Nicolas Méo, such that today the domaine covers 4.5 hectares and Guillaume makes about 20,000 bottles per year. The bottles are sold to many countries, though in France it’s mainly to a ‘very good selection of Michelin starred restaurants.’
Guillaume on his approach:
“Since 2010 the cuverie has been equipped with thermo-regulated stainless-steel tanks and I really see more precision and purity since I updated them. These tanks allow good control over a cool maceration for the 100% destemmed fruit – at 10°C for 7-8 days – aided by a destemmer of the type that doesn’t damage the berries. Fermentations start slowly at about 12-13°C, so during the extraction phase I just do a little remontage to keep the high-toned and more floral notes. There are then, 14-16 months on lees for the wines, without racking (usually) so normally there’s double the amount of CO2 that will be needed at bottling, but I find that this delivers a lovely freshness of fruit. I assemble about 1-2 months before bottling so there’s plenty of time to adjust the gas and sulfur levels.”
Guillaume on 2013:
“In 2013 we had terrible early rain: July and August were ‘correct’, but just before harvest we saw some pressure from the development of porriture. That said, the tannins in the skin and the colours were super, and despite the late harvest we didn’t lose any acidity. My malos were a nightmare in 13, some finished very late, but during fermentation it was important to keep the temperature to extract the good tannins. I see black fruit in 13 verses acid-red in 12.”
Guillaume on 2014:
“2014s. I was really happy that the north wind blew a week before the harvest, about 10% of the juice was lost but there was anyway too much – so happy. All are now about halfway, or bit more, through malo.”
And what wines! Either I was very thirsty, or this was simply a great set of cuvées – I believe the latter – deeply coloured, naturally concentrated and beguiling! When transposing these notes I thought to myself – “I can’t really highlight so many wines, can I…?” But those were my thoughts whilst tasting, so maybe it made reticent to also highlight the Echézeaux – but it was oh-so good!
2013 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits Cuvée Maelie
Named for Guillaume’s daughter. Vines from Conceour, just above Vosne-Romanée; 40 year-old vines, no new oak, rather with one and two-year old barrels – they lost 30% of their grapes due to rot.
Deep, some fruit, almost floral. Wide, plenty of acidity – mouth-watering fruit-flavour. This wine is very tasty, though a little more acidity would probably have been too much. A good wine that when you consider the vintage, it’s really quite something – many producers didn’t even harvest their Hautes Côtes due to widespread rot!
The lieu-dit. 40-45 year-old vines, near the route de grand cru.
Medium, medium-plus colour. Beautiful, deep, enveloping, inviting aromas. Fresh, structured but energetic and without any aggression – indeed, elegant for Fixin. Lovely wine, with a comforting, long, lovely flavour.
Deep and dark-fruited aromas. (25% new oak, 50 year-old vines) Very attractive. Silky, fresh, sleek, growing intensity – really pretty Chambolle flavours, despite excellent intensity. Yum! Super generous after the Fixin. Guillaume says “This is my enfant terrible I’m never fully satisfied with this wine, I always think that I could have done something more or better…” – Harsh!
Deep but wide aromas, with notes of peony flowers. Wide, fresh, full of intensity with cool fruit. Lots of aromas in the mouth, then a small explosion of flavour in the mid-palate – frank, direct but also very complex. Lovely flavour again – super!! It was bottled in February.
Seventy year-old vines on the border of Vosne and Nuits. Small grapes, low yields but naturally concentrated.
A reticent but pretty aromatic that’s clearly more Vosne than Nuits. Round, plenty of texture from very supple tannin – not an explosion of flavour but really more depth and complexity of flavour after the Vosne – Super! A richer but very much more profound wine – excellent.
Deep, dark, almost textured aromas of macerating dark fruit and florals. An extra degree of sweetness here, but also seemingly more mineral. The mouth is filled with texture but the flavour is more direct versus the Nuits. A super burst of mid-palate flavour, hinting at minerality again. Super tasty!
2013 Nuits S.Georges 1er Aux Argillas
From the north of Nuits, not the southern Argillières! 50% new oak. Usually the latest vines to be harvested. “We really do some pigeage here but this remains an elegant fresh wine.”
The nose is soft, modestly intense but very inviting. Fine sweetness and freshness – indeed mouth-watering flavour that’s less profound than some but perhaps more complex and panoramic. Super, mouth-watering finish.
2013 Echézeaux Les Treux
More than 80 years old vines, with 80% new oak to match.
Super colour. (‘Harder to control the tannins here’). Deep dark, macerating yet fresh fruit – quite primary but lovely. Big, rich, silky but perfectly proportioned. Lots and lots of primary material here, finishing fresh, complex, very long – and pleading that you take another sip. Very, very, very good!