Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, or DRC as it is commonly known, is easily Burgundy's most world renown and most collectible wines in the world. Based in the Burgundy village of Vosne-Romanée, the Domaine makes wines from eight different grand cru vineyards that span the length of the Côte d'Or. The most famous comes from the eponymous Romanée-Conti vineyard, and on average is the most expensive wine in the world.
The Domaine makes mostly Pinot Noir-based wines from 28 hectares (69 acres) of grand cru vineyard – represented alongside Romanée-Conti are La Tache, Romanée-Saint-Vivant and Richebourg in Vosne-Romanée; Corton-Bressandes, Corton Clos du Roi and Corton Renardes in Corton; and Échezeaux and Grands Échezeaux. Le Montrachet and Batard-Montrachet in the Côte de Beaune make DRC's only Chardonnay-based white wines.
Of course, La Romanée-Conti is the Domaine's most famous asset, and the amount of wine made from less than 2ha (5 acres) of land amounts to just 6000 bottles a year. The vineyard has a long history, dating back to the Abbey of Saint-Vivant in the 13th Century. It took on the Romanée name in 1631, and the Conti in 1760. In 1869, it was obtained by Jacques-Marie Duvault-Blochet, who left it to his great grandchildren upon his death. It was then that the Société-Civile du Domaine de la Romanée-Conti was established to avoid Napoleonic inheritance laws.
Today, DRC is owned in part by the de Villaine family and in part by the Leroy family. Aubert de Villaine is the figurehead of the company now – although it was famously run by Lalou Bize-Leroy for a time, until a dispute saw her ousted from control. The Leroy family is now represented by Henri-Frederic Roch.
|Bottle Size||750 ml|
|Location||Cote de Nuits|
|Producer||Romanee Conti Domaine de la|
|Rating||97 RP - 2005 DRC St. Vivant Burgundy - 97 pts! Just as this yearâ€™s Echezeaux challenges the quality of the Grands-Echezeaux, another surprise of the vintage is a spectacular showing for the 2005 Romanee-St.-Vivant. A startlingly dark, mouth-watering amalgam of purple plum paste, blackberry preserves, bitter chocolate, toasted walnut, soy, and raw beef intrigues the nose. On the palate, this cleaves to the dark side, with viscous, mouth-coating concentration of lightly-cooked black fruits, charred meat, mysterious forest floor complexity, and bitter-sweet florality, but simultaneously delivers a vibratory finish like that of the energetic Grands-Echezeaux. With its palpable extract, profound personality, and refined but abundant tannins, this is surely wine to set aside for at least a decade. Once the grapes in these fabled vineyards had reached a potential alcohol of 13%, reports Aubert de Villaine, he was ready to pick, because conditions had seldom been so conducive to perfect ripeness (including that of the stems). It was all done in a week, commencing with La Tache and Romanee Conti, and finishing on September 23 with Romanee-St.-Vivant (and Montrachet, on which I shall report at a future date). De Villaine intended to bottle in March or April by gravity in six-barrel lots, as has become general practice here over the past decade. RP|