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Average critic rating : 84.33 points

99

99

An exceptionally floral yet restrained nose with aromas of both rose and violets that combine with a panoply of spice notes yet the overall impression is classic young RC as the nose is both cool and reserved yet aristocratic. The sweet, intense, focused, detailed and vibrant flavors offer superb drive and punch though there is not the sheer scale of the LT yet they're finer and somehow even purer, indeed absolutely crystalline though I kept asking myself how this was possible as the purity of the La Tâche is itself mind blowing. The descriptor of 'power without weight' came to mind again and again as the flavors slide down the throat with no sense of heaviness yet the impact and precision of the presently somewhat austere finish is quite simply hard to believe. In a word, this is mind bending and in a visceral sense, this is a monumental wine that of real emotional impact. Genius in a glass. Allen Meadows, Burghound Jan01,2008

99-100

99-100

There are more startling complexities in the 2005 Romanee-Conti than in any other wine here today, perhaps in the vintage. A stunning, high-toned and utterly unique perfume of pink grapefruit, blood orange, tangerine rind, vivid rose petal, musk, cinnamon, sage, and cassis seduces the olfactors in kaleidoscopic rotation. I hesitate to court sacrilege or ridicule with Germanic allusions but it is impossible not to imagine a great Pinot scented with Gewurztraminer and Scheurebe. On the palate, a pure, clean meatiness emerges, like butchering a meadow-fed lamb, bitter-sweet flowers flying forth in an inner-mouth profusion. Soy and black truffle lend a dark, savory note to the proceedings, leading the long finishing procession over a path strewn with rose petals. Fear not: despite its silken texture, there are abundant tannins woven into this amazing tapestry as well, and I am sure those lucky enough to own some can retain it as collateral, then leave it to their children, safe in the knowledge it has not decayed. Reverential drinking after a dozen or more years would, however, be my preference. Once the grapes in these fabled vineyards had reached a potential alcohol of 13%, reports Aubert de Villaine, he was ready to pick, because conditions had seldom been so conducive to perfect ripeness (including that of the stems). It was all done in a week, commencing with La Tache and Romanee Conti, and finishing on September 23 with Romanee-St.-Vivant (and Montrachet, on which I shall report at a future date). De Villaine intended to bottle in March or April by gravity in six-barrel lots, as has become general practice here over the past decade. David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate # 170

99-10

99-10

There are more startling complexities in the 2005 Romanee-Conti than in any other wine here today, perhaps in the vintage. A stunning, high-toned and utterly unique perfume of pink grapefruit, blood orange, tangerine rind, vivid rose petal, musk, cinnamon, sage, and cassis seduces the olfactors in kaleidoscopic rotation. I hesitate to court sacrilege or ridicule with Germanic allusions but it is impossible not to imagine a great Pinot scented with Gewurztraminer and Scheurebe. On the palate, a pure, clean meatiness emerges, like butchering a meadow-fed lamb, bitter-sweet flowers flying forth in an inner-mouth profusion. Soy and black truffle lend a dark, savory note to the proceedings, leading the long finishing procession over a path strewn with rose petals. Fear not: despite its silken texture, there are abundant tannins woven into this amazing tapestry as well, and I am sure those lucky enough to own some can retain it as collateral, then leave it to their children, safe in the knowledge it has not decayed. Reverential drinking after a dozen or more years would, however, be my preference.||Once the grapes in these fabled vineyards had reached a potential alcohol of 13%, reports Aubert de Villaine, he was ready to pick, because conditions had seldom been so conducive to perfect ripeness (including that of the stems). It was all done in a week, commencing with La Tache and Romanee Conti, and finishing on September 23 with Romanee-St.-Vivant (and Montrachet, on which I shall report at a future date). De Villaine intended to bottle in March or April by gravity in six-barrel lots, as has become general practice here over the past decade. Wine Advocate.April, 2007

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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