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1999 Thomas-Moillard, Romanée Saint-VivantApr. 2012
The colour’s quite dark. Aromatically this is rather monolithic for quite some hours – only on day two do you have more of a Vosne impression, but there is still a solid core of dark, almost roast, licorice-laced fruit. There’s good acidity and balance – just a little lithe in shape and it’s also sneakily, mouth-wateringly long. Whilst it’s not very tannic, there’s the clear impression that everything that could have been extracted, was extracted. Drinkable but despite that, a mile away from drinking ‘nicely’. Wait at least 10 years…
2008 Leroy, Romanée Saint-VivantMay. 2011
A hint of reduction fades to offer a super display of flowers. Round, full and super-silky without every becoming heavy.
1998 Potel Nicolas, Romanée Saint-VivantDec. 2009
Double-decanted, poured after an hour. Plenty of lumpy sediment but no fine stuff to cloud things. The nose needs another 30 minutes to open, but it becomes wide and very Vosne; spicy, leafy, somehow ‘warm’ and textured smelling – overall it’s very good though not necessarily better than a (very) good 1er cru. The acidity is slightly forward – though not excessive – no harsh or astringent tannin, just a latent velvet edge. The flavours are a little tart but there’s a slowly deepening intensity in the mid-palate and a width that’s faintly cream-edged. Very good, if not great length. There is no primary fruit here, but it’s a wine that I would leave for at least another 5 or 6 in the cellar. It’s a reasonable grand cru, but today it’s far from a great RSV. This experience was not spoiled by the cork, only by opening the bottle at least 5 years too early…
1999 Thomas-Moillard, Romanée Saint-VivantDec. 2009
A smelly, rubbery odour from the cork, so it was decanted and I waited for an hour. Fortunately there was only a short-lived hint of rubber on the nose. The aroma-profile kept improving all night – though at a glacial pace – so I left a little for day two, but it was exactly like the end of day 1! What was it like? A meaty depth with subtle leafy notes – some parallels to the 98 Potel RSV, but this is significantly less far down the road to aromatic maturity. Across the tongue there is more padding and width than the Potel and no tartness. The rough tannin of the last outing (3 years ago) is replaced with a more velvet impression – good mid-palate width of dark cherry fruit too. Slowly lingering – it’s still not a ‘today’ wine, but at this rate of progress, another 5 years should see it in a great place.
2005 Romanée-Conti, Romanée Saint-VivantApr. 2008
A heavy, heady scent of roses, spice and meat – eventually the smoky stems make a cameo. The palate has the freshness of the Echézeaux, but also the tight concentration of the ‘GE’. The spine of acidity is very lovely, flowing right through the centre of the wine – but everything here is on a low, subtle level. It eventually takes on a slightly plumper impression in the mid-palate, but it mainly remains behind a veil.
2000 Romanée-Conti, Romanée Saint-VivantNov. 2007
Medium, medium-plus colour – just a very faint edge of amber at the rim. The nose is a sniffer’s delight – though the stems are very forward – they overlay a deep and primary red-fruit nose that’s edged with softness and a faint, savoury, musky note. The more it develops in the glass the more savoury it becomes; the last drops showing an extra fineness. In the mouth the wine is clearly grand cru in texture though the concentration is not so up-front, it rather develops on the tongue in an understated way. The tannins are well covered though I find the acidity is the least perfect aspect – not bad, but just a little bright – at this level I demand seamless. There is a subtle extra dimension in the mid-palate and into the finish – which is also very understated. Apart from the nose and the entry, everything about the wine is subtle and low-key – it holds the interest amply though, even the acidity seems well-judged at the death. Very fine now, if not quite mind-bending. I expect it will only get better for at least the next 10 years but it was very much enjoyed – to the last drop!
2000 Thomas-Moillard, Romanée Saint-VivantAug. 2007
A lovely medium-plus ruby red colour – still just a hint of cherry red at the rim. The nose starts just a little meaty and beetrooty – not so great – but soon there is creamy black cherry but with a hint of reduction, finally it becomes redder, softer, more floral and much more interesting. This wine equals the concentration of the Bonnes-Mares but with a totally different and much more elegant personality. The tannins are in there somewhere, but the super-smooth, high quality fruit is the main attribute. The finish is borne on nicely judged acidity and again hints towards cream-edged black cherry – oh and it’s excellent – really long. Very young, but this is a wine I should perhaps have gone for the ‘full 12′ rather than the 6, it’s also more ‘honest’ about the vintage than the Bonnes-Mares was; obviously ripe with understated acidity and just a little plump. Versus the 1999 at the same time last year this is all the more interesting, elegant and drinkable – the 99 probably needs 10+ years to excite.
1999 Hudelot-Noellat, Romanée Saint-VivantApr. 2007
Medium ruby-red colour with a hint of amber at the rim. A very deep, wide, earthy and impressive nose. Mouthfilling, still with plenty of drying tannin. Given the nose and structure this slips disappointingly unobtrusively into the finish – but it’s one very long, if slightly oaky finish! In the end the astringent (though ripe) tannins dominate the mid-palate and finish a little too much for current enjoyment. Taking stock there’s a modicum of maturity on the nose and surely a great grand cru nose at that. If the nose hints at maturity the palate is way too young; it’s concentrated and long but the structure is dominant today. When the palate catches up I think this will be a stunning bottle.
2004 Romanée-Conti, Romanée Saint-VivantApr. 2007
Yield 28.3 hl/ha – or 1,229 cases. Medium colour. The nose starts more generous and savoury that the last wines but then closes up. Some notes of cedar and berries are slowly released as the nose widens again, becoming smoky and filling the glass again with creamy, spicy and more fruit driven notes. The palate is more masculine and tannic but shows sweet fruit and a more concentrated length. It’s less elegant for sure but has more power and will surely gain balance with time. This is a much bigger step up from the Grands-Echézeaux than at the barrel tasting.
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