Romanée-Conti – 2020


Bertrand de Villaine 2021 Domaine de la Romanée-ContiTasted in Vosne-Romanée with Bertrand de Villaine, 26 November, 2021.

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti
1 Place de l’Église
21700 Vosne-Romanée
More reports with Domaine de la Romanée-Conti

On 2021:
In 2021 we fought for 3 nights and 3 days with candles, and warmers – we did what we could do – 3-400 candles per hectare. It wasn’t a vintage for using lots of stems as they were not in great shape. In Charlemagne we have 3 hectares but the frost left us with only 5 barrels…

On 2020:
We were ready for harvesting on the 10th of August and had planned to start on the 18th – in the end, we waited until the 23rd. It’s still very early, but we can note that Duvault-Blochet also made some harvests in August! Some wines are already bottled; when we racked we felt there was nothing more to do, so got on with it…

The wines…

Even by the considerable standards of this domaine, I feel that they can be justifiably proud of their results in 2020. Be happy if you have the possibility to buy…

2020 Corton
Bottled this week: ‘Initially we found it hard to marry the tannins with the oak so went from 100% new oak in 2009 to 50% in 2010. Now it’s back to 100% following the work in the vines and the maturity in the grapes – they are now happy together. But we want to make a Corton, not a Corton from Vosne.’
Wide, perfumed from the stems, slowly with the individual berries too. Airy but with power below. Wide but there’s also a direct side to this wine – showing sweeping flavour and immaculate texture – it’s a direct, very Corton, style but still with width. Proper Corton but open and fabulously shaped. Bravo!

2020 Echézeaux
‘The soil here is less deep than many of the other crus.’ This is still in barrel. Racked 6 weeks ago.
A wider and more vibrant complexity, spiced, less overt accents from the stems. Also direct, gorgeously silky texture, growing wider and wider, growing s wide in the finish, more and more high toned. This is super, super finishing too…

2020 Grands-Echézeaux
This is not yet racked – the only one – this will probably get the full 18 months of elevage, or more.
A deeper nose starting more compact for the high tones, air aiding a lot, slowly releasing some wc complexity. More intense, more structural, there’s a little textural dryness from the tannin but there’s no obvious grain. A wine with tension and a haunting finish that shows the stems a little more. Everything here for grand vin – for the more patient – but isn’t that exactly GE from here?

2020 Romanée St.Vivant
One part replanted in 2010 is not yet incorporated, but maybe soon… Not racked
A fuller nose, it needs air to bring the purity and the complexity – lots of red fruit complexity. More impact, wider, concentrated but not dense. Broad finishing, very wc-perfumed and, of course, so impressively long. The current stage shows lots of power.

2020 Richebourg
This Richebourg has just been racked, “so its inaccessible.”

2020 La Tâche
Rounder, fuller a more complete nose – the stems less overt but the overall perfume not – becoming more vibrant with air. Ooh – large-scaled, cool fruit, faintly touched by the tannin. Supple, mobile – again fluid but with more depth to this flavour. Great LT that requires patience but the emotion is already starting to show.
2020 Romanée-Conti
Bottled just 3 days:
Oof – it may be just bottled but this is a great nose – so impressively large; spiced, smoked, becoming more floral. Cool, mouth-filling, the structure supporting everything but so-much is still hidden. I’m finding this impressively rewarding to drink – it’s also challenging to think that I won’t be around when this wine reaches its considerable peak.

And something white?
A little Charlemagne perhaps? No, but still a nice surprise!

2020 Montrachet
Bottled yesterday…
Depth of aroma, faintly reductive, becoming more floral. Ooh – such a width of flavour, a vibration of flavour, faintly textured with a little tannin. What a finish – bravo! Always hard to benchmark a great white when you have tasted no whites before it – but in this case it follows a great Romanee-Conti – and with aplomb. Grand Vin

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