The story of Tardieu-Laurent begins with two men, although today it concerns just one. These two men were the Tardieu and Laurent of the title, the latter being none other than Dominique Laurent, renowned Burgundy négociant, who started making waves with the 1993 vintage. Originally a pastry chef, a profession that certainly demands attention to detail, Laurent brought this quality to the fermentations and élevage of his purchased fruit. Within a year or two of his arrival on the Burgundy scene, many had already placed Laurent in the upper tier of Burgundy producers. His wines were marked by natural fermentations using indigenous yeasts, a low application of sulphur and a wood influence that came from his use of 100% thick-staved new French oak barrels, sometimes with wines transferred into another set of new barrels during racking, effectively giving 200% new oak. The end results were widely acclaimed, a justification if one were needed of the veracity of Laurent's techniques; transferable techniques which Laurent was able to bring to the Rhône, in partnership with the second man in the equation, Michel Tardieu. Michel Tardieu is Provençal by birth, but he has settled in Lourmarin, a village in Luberon, in the southern Rhône Valley, and here he established himself as a négociant-éleveur in partnership with Dominique Laurent. He established his cellars at La Cour de Ferme Auberge la Fenière, and this high-tech construction has seen continued improvement and upgrading over the years. Each year the wines, already in barrel, arrive here where Tardieu, working alone since he and Laurent went their separate ways, oversees the élevage of the wine. In just a few years Michel Tardieu has established a reputation for the fine quality of the wines, which challenge quite convincingly any from the accepted firmament of Rhône négociants.

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