Domaine de la Romanee-Conti is one of the world’s greatest wine domains. It’s thrilling wines are scarily expensive – but even if you can afford them, the real issue is getting hold of them.
Fortunately, each year Corney & Barrow – who have exclusivity of these wines in the UK – put on a tasting for trade and press, so those of us who aren’t exceedingly wealthy can assess the latest vintage. Today, they were showing the 2008s.
Now 2008 was a tricky vintage indeed, but the wines are still, as you would expect, remarkably good. It’s the sort of Burgundy vintage I like – paler colour, high acidity, lovely freshness. I think these wines will live for a long time, largely because of the lovely acidity they possess.
Richebourg was a bit odd. Still lovely, but with a slightly confected red cherry character to the fruit, and very firm yet fine-grained structure. Echezeaux and Grands Echezeaux were more dark cherry in fruit profile, and quite expressive, with some nice greenness – and the latter showing quite firm structure.
Romanee St Vivant was exotic and open, with stern spiciness and green sappy notes reining in the exuberant fruit. Real potential. La Tache was stern, spicy, grippy and in need of a lot of patience – probably the most backward wine in the line-up. Romanee-Conti was the highlight, with spellbinding complexity, and a nice tension between the sweet fruit and the green, spicy, savoury notes.
It’s not the most seductive line-up from DRC, but 2008 looks like a beautifully fresh, savoury year that will reward patience, and should be more to the tastes of real Burgundy lovers than point-chasing status drinkers, who might find the wines a bit difficult.
What would I buy? Echezeaux (£175 a bottle in bond) and Romanee St Vivant (£432.50/bottle) are the stand-outs. £1616.67 for a bottle of the Romanee-Conti is just a little too much.
FOR FULL NOTES: SEE MY WRITE-UP ON THE MAIN WINEANORAK SITE