The Tasting Panel magazine

March 2013

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Page 22 of 148

STEVEN SPURRIER���S LETTER FROM LONDON 2010 Domaine de la Roman��e-Conti W PHOTO: DECANTER hile the whole of Burgundy seemed to come to London the second and third week of January to present their 2011s, Aubert de Villaine arrived at his U.K. importers Corney & Barrow a fortnight later to show his 2010s, a vintage which he described as ���An Homeric Epic.��� As Corney & Barrow���s Adam Brett-Smith stated: ���It is sometimes dificult to reconcile the aching beauty of these 2010s with the frequently traumatic temperament of so much of the growing season,��� adding that ���on occasions greatness and triumph are born out of hardship and dificulty, which is perhaps why the DRC���s 2010s exhibit all the hallmarks of a great vintage���intricately ripe fruit, subtle concentration, intensity and above all purity and transparent idelity to their individual terroirs.��� The cost of this success is in volume: Due to such severe selection, the Domaine seldom attains the permitted yield of 35 hectos per hectare, but in 2010, the yields harvested from September 22 to October 2 across their eight Grands Crus averaged a mere 21.6 hl/ha. Below are my notes, with additional comments from Adam Brett-Smith in quotes. Prices are predictably stratospheric but nearly irrelevant; you can be sure that by the time you read this, every single bottle has been allocated. Corton The second vintage made from vines in Grands Crus Clos du Roi, Bressandes and Renardes leased from Prince de M��rode. Very good grip behind leshy/irm fruits with ine precision and expression for a big wine. 2018���30. 18+/20. Richebourg Deep robust red, lovely rich nose of exotic, earthy warm, lush yet contained red fruits; terriic power and exceptional purity and length for such a robust wine. ���Often the Porthos of the Three Musketeers ���all slashed velvet doublet, peacock richness and broad lamboyance���but here there is an aristocratic elegance that takes it to a higher level: This is a courtier, not a thug.��� 2020���35. 19/20. Roman��e-St-Vivant ���After 20 years of dedicated investment, this vineyard, for so long considered the black swan of the family, is close to perfection.��� Deep cherry red; rich yet precise bouquet on a more vertical register to Richebourg, black fruits with an underlying irmness and grip; great purity and elegance, an arrestingly expressive wine of great beauty. 2022-35. 19+/20. La T��che ���For a time the greatest wine in Burgundy, when the Prince de Conti kept the entire production of Roman��e-Conti for his personal consumption.��� Black cherry red; immediately exotic, leshy and spicy compared to Roman��e-St-Vivant, with a rare richness on the nose, creamy but not lush, beautifully smooth with irm tannins; a many-layered wine with endless length that needs time. 2024���40. 19+/20. ��ch��zeaux Deep cherry red, irm yet seductive bouquet with black fruit spices; broader and deeper than expected, ine natural acidity and tannins; already a ���grand vin.��� 2017���25. 18/20. Roman��e-Conti ���It is dificult to disassociate the legend from the reality: Peter Sisseck (Dominio de Pingus) on tasting the 1956 (a decidedly dodgy vintage) referred to its ���transparency, purity, almost a quality of light, nothing . . . everything.������ The ethereal bouquet is more Roman��e-St-Vivant than La T��che with the purity, depth and beauty of a great work of art; richness of fruit on the palate with a taffeta density of texture; a pure vineyard expression that is hard to describe. 2025���50. 20/20. Grands ��ch��zeaux Faintly paler colour, but more richness and even lamboyance than ��ch��zeaux; exotic on the nose yet controlled on the palate, already very exciting but needs time, a great Grands ��ch��zeaux. 2020���35. 18.5+/20. Montrachet This was not tasted in London, but described by Adam Brett-Smith as ���a Montrachet of inesse as well as profound depth, a lovely wine that will take long cellaring.��� 2016���25+. 18-18+/20. 22 / the tasting panel / march 2013

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