I’ve rarely experienced this from young DRC wines, but today this is clearly, aromatically more impressive than the La Tâche – it’s deeper, has more concentrated fruit at the core, and what fruit! In the mouth the stunning fruit continues, creamily-edged and slowly creeping into a haunting finish. There is a faint tannin emphasis but the tannin melts before the finish. There is beautifully packaged ripeness here, but delivered in such a way you would never class as negative. By far the most authoritative young Romanée-Conti I ever met, but in part that’s due to the tightness of most of its stable-mates.
Yield 26.55 hl/ha – or 471 cases. Medium-pale colour. The nose is wide and deep, translucent rather than dense with quite pleasant stem notes. Bottle two seems to be have more depth and show a more floral, violet aspect. It’s hard to point out specific attributes as there is that Romanée-Conti ‘whole-ness’ that provides such a measure of balance. Understated and precise, there is so much harmony and sophistication here. Certainly a wine for reflection rather than to impress.
Perhaps it is a little passé to describe this wine as ’rounder’, but that is certainly the impression from the aromatics; similar to La Tâche except that there is a distinctly more mineral core and the fruit has an extra edge of cream bedecked fruit. Take a sip, and there is not the same ‘hit’ that you get from La Tâche – there is much more subtlety and understatement. More sophistication than any other wine in the line-up, the tannins are as fine as those of the RSV, but with none of their astringency. Better than superb? No, just different.
The nose is rounder still than La Tâche, matching the width and depth but with extra high-tones at the top. Another wine whose nose strangely reduces in amplitude when swirled. Versus both the LT and the Richebourg there are less fireworks and a less obvious ‘look at me’ personality. This wine is tighter but does still have the edge in density. There’s no extra burst, but that tiny gap between the mid-palate and the finish is filled with more ‘command’ than any other wine into a spellbinding finish. Today, and in these glasses the overall experience is a notch below both the Richebourg and the LT but (directly comparing) well above the RSV. For the future there is extra promise but I really think I will need multiple bottles of each for further research ?
Unlike London, the bottles here consistently showed no ruby tones – virtually the same shade of medium, medium-plus cherry red as the other wines. Versus La Tâche there’s more obvious spice that goes together with a melange of red and black fruits. Given time in the glass there’s a higher-toned floral aspect. Sweet, concentrated palate that is a little understated, but continues to understate itself for over a minute on the finish! Slowly evolves a cedary aspect to the finish.
In the tasting glass, this wine is a shade lighter in colour vs La Tâche, it’s also the only wine in the line-up to show some ruby colour. The nose starts with a blast of fruit and spice – very much like La Tâche – but closes down much faster. A quarter of an hour with the glass yields a few more floral notes, and then something a little green that morphs into a cedary pencil-lead note. The palate is very round, without the initial fireworks of the La Tâche, in fact it’s very understated. This is a wine that you could easily overlook after La Tâche and the RSV, but what sets it apart is the crystalline purity of fruit in the mid-palate and the faint but haunting finish. Very special
Less deep colour than La Tâche – looks quite delicate in the glass. Like La Tâche, the nose starts in a very subdued way; but much more floral (how I’d expected the Romanée-Saint-Vivant might show) than the other wines. The next sniff shows much deeper tones, and again with each sniff the wine develops new aromas: kirsch, cassis, faint vanilla, then the floral element returns – almost lavender followed by coal-tar. In the mouth, perfect acidity and again, silk rather than velvet tannin. Once more I find the palate less involving than the nose, but a beautiful wine by any standard that leaves a smooth coating on your teeth to remind you of the experience!