There are a number of La Romanées, and all have a good reputation. This one hides it’s light under a bushel as it’s a monopole of a relatively little-known producer – but take it from me, the quality is right up there with that of many better-known producers. The vineyard itself is at the ‘end’ of the same hillside that starts with the Clos St.Jacques if you walk with your back to the village of Gevrey. The last thing after La Romanée and Les Veroilles (which La Romanée sits above, and is also a monopole of the same producer) is a small strip of ‘village’ vines called La Bossière, then it’s only trees!
2003 Domaine des Varoilles, Gevrey-Chambertin 1er La Romanée
At first glance and sniff, this looks and smells like a 2003 – blind tasting to that level of accuracy need hold no fears! Medium-plus cherry-red with not a hint of lightening or ruby colour. The nose starts very ripe with plenty of powdery red fruit, but time opens quite a distinct coffee note and eventually a very well defined and intense red cherry/cranberry impression. In the mouth this is concentrated, soft, intense with a good burst of fruit on the mid-palate – it’s a very ‘worthy’ 1er Cru – the finish is quite long and the only part that hints of some oak. The tannins are very well covered. This is a great success for the vintage, and even if you are just a little agnostic about the character of 2003, I think you will find plenty of fun here – and that’s not to say there is no longer-term serious side to this well-priced wine.
Rebuy – Yes