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The Importance

In the words of Robert Parker  the name Domaine de la Romanée-Conti: “is the most renowned in Burgundy” and the flagship wines from its two monopoles: “the typically tensile, intense La Tâche and the startlingly perfumed, kaleidoscopically complex, supremely elegant Romanée-Conti truly exhibit a categorical difference from any other wines on earth.”

 

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti or simply DRC is without doubt the most famous domaine in Burgundy and one of the most famous producers on Earth. The Grand Cru vineyard from which it takes its name produces the world’s most expensive wine by a long margin according to Wine-Searcher. So important is this producer that it is the only domaine allowed by law to be named after a specific vineyard and according to Neal Martin: “their wines are so rare, sought after and let us be frank, so prohibitively expensive; that mere utterance is as close as most people get…. Their raison d'etre is to offer pleasure, these are bottles surfeit with enjoyment, surfeit with profundity.”

 

At time of writing this profile twelve of the twenty most expensive wines listed on our website hail from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, they are the jewel in the crown of any collection. This is testament to the demand and rarity of these wines.


The Insight

DRC, or simply referred to as “the Domaine” by some, is the largest proprietor of Grand Cru vineyards in Vosne-Romanée. On top of the monopole vineyards of La Tâche and the low-yielding and low altitude Romanée-Conti, the domaine owns more than half of Romanée St Vivant, a third of Grands-Echézeaux and half of Richebourg.  It also has holdings in Corton, Le Montrachet and Batard-Montrachet, and in great vintages they also produce the Premier Cru Vosne-Romanée Cuvée Duvualt Blochet from young Pinot Noir vines sourced from various vineyards. The domaine’s Grand Cru Le Montrachet is one of the rarest and finest white wines produced. The Batard-Montrachet is not released commercially.

 

Jancis Robinson has awarded the domaine perfect scores four times, Wine Advocate has also awarded perfect 100 points four times, Vinous once, Burghound once, the list goes on. In short DRC is considered by many to be the absolute pinnacle of red Burgundy. “Its wines are notable for their richness and longevity” according to Jasper Morris MW.

 

With FINE+RARE extensive reach on the secondary market we are frequently able to offer these rare and exclusive wines, and can often provide access to single vintage assortment cases.


The Background

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti can trace its history back more many centuries. The Dukes of Burgundy donated a 1.8 hectare plot to the Abbey of Saint-Vivant. This was later sold to the Croonembourg family who renamed it Romanée, they also purchased the vineyard nextdoor: La Tâche. These two great vineyards were sold once again with Romanée falling to Prince de Conti, hence becoming better known as Romanée-Conti.  After several more change of hands during its history, the domaine ended up in the hands of Aubert de Villaine (son of Henri who had co-owned it with Henri Leroy, the father of Lalou Bize-Leroy the driving force behind Leroy) in 1953. He was a judge at the Judgement of Paris tasting and he and his wife Pamela also run A & P Villaine in Bouzeron, producing excellent Aligoté.

 

The domaine now holds a cluster of vineyards that are second to none. The old vines (nearing 50 years old on average) are farmed organically and biodynamically, yields are kept low by aggressive pruning (it is suggested that it takes three vines to produce one bottle), and harvesting is typically very late. Intervention in the winery is minimal, i.e. natural yeasts, new oak, no filtering, no destemming, etc. In the words of Neal Martin the results are Pinot Noir and Chardonnay with: “finesse, balance, poise, refinement” that “age like no other wine I can think of. Quite simply, they have an unerring ability to maintain the freshness and poise over decades.” He concludes that if you are lucky enough to try one then “You may be in for an unforgettable experience.”



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