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best wine of 2003…

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti
La Tâche
2000

I suppose February was a little early for an entry in this page, but then again it’s not every day that you get to taste La Tâche. Even from such a young vintage as 2000, there is something quite special about this precocious wine. This was tasted along with the other reds from the domaine in 2000, courtesy of Corney and Barrow> in the UK. La Tâche and Romanée-Conti were head and shoulders above the other wines, which I would ‘merely’ class as excellent, but these two were very special. Apparently La Tâche is usually the most ‘showy’ of the wines when young, and that was certainly the case for this tasting, hence, it’s inclusion ahead of the Romanée-Conti.

The Grand Cru
In the very heart of Vosne-Romanée lies this special piece of ground. La Tâche is a ‘Monopole’ vineyard of the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti; that is to say that they own the vineyard in its entireity, so you won’t find any other producers of this wine. As vineyards go at this rareified level, it’s actually quite a large size, covering 6.06 hectares, or 14.4 acres. From the 46 year-old vines, the domiane had a relatively high yield of 32.65 hectolitres per hectare in 2000, producing a little over 2,000 cases. If the vineyard of Romanée-Conti did not exist, this would be the finest Burgundy in the world.

The Wine
Deep cherry red colour. The nose is at first disappointingly understated and faintly spicy, but with swirling; first red cherry, then black cherry, then blackcurrant, then kirsch, hints of vanilla, then orange – something new every sniff – then the nose goes deeper, showing a little plum and coffee – frankly stunning, who needs to drink this wine? A fat, sappy palate with very concentrated fruit, tannins that are more silk than velvet and a multitude of flavours playing over your tongue – fantastic texture. The maximum interest for me right now is the aromatics, but this is exceptional wine by any measure.

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