Domaine de la Romanee-Conti is a iconic producer – and have maintained this position for many decades. They produce a relatively small selection of exceptional wines from the very best terroirs in Burgundy.
Where most other top producers make a quite limited number of bottles of each wine, DRC produce quite substantial quantities of each wine, as the own quite large plots in all the top vineyards – including the two great monopoles Romanee-Conti and La Tache.
For me the combination of large holdings in the best terroirs and the consistent high quality for many decades makes Domaine de la Romanee-Conti a truly legendary producer in Bourgogne. Other producers may have one wine that can rival the best wines of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, but no domaine can, in my view, rival the quality of the whole DRC lineup.
The wines from Domaine de la Romanee-Conti
The most legendary wines from the domaine are the two monopoles Romanee-Conti and La Tache, but the next level Richebourg and Romanee-Saint-Vivant are on par with the top wines from the other top producers. The Montrachet is among the best white Wines in the world and also a legendary wine among the white Burgundies.
Seen over the last 15 years the Romanee-Saint-Vivant has improved tremendously and are now at least on par with the Richebourg, and the RSV is in my view the better wine due to it’s focus and refinement.
Grands Echezeaux and the Echezeaux offer the DRC style and very high quality, with the Grands Echezeaux at a significantly higher level. The Grands Echezeaux is more full-bodied offering more depth and refinement, but is lacking the minerality and power found in the four top terroirs.
The only slightly weak link in the lineup is in my view the Echezeaux, where other producers – Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair, Jean Grivot, Emmanuel Rouget and Mugneret-Gibourg makes wines of the same standard and sometimes even slightly better. This is however mainly a reflection of the difference in terroir on the Echezeaux vineyard, where the DRC plots are in some of the less mineralic climates – check my article about the Echezeaux vineyard.
The Corton from DRC (first vintage is 2009) is the new kid on the block. They are renting vineyards in three different climates on the Corton appelation – Clos du Roi, Bressandes, Ranardes – from Domaine Prince Florent de Merode. They are currently only making one cuvee of Corton from these vineyards, but this could change in future vintages. It’s still too early to evaluate the quality of the Corton – but i’m pretty sure DRC will strive for perfection even on this vineyard.
In some years they also make a 1er cru Vosne Romanee called Cuvee Duvault-Blochet, a slightly more forward and openly knit wine, but still offering DRC quality and Vosne terroir. The Duvault-Blochet is made from younger vines on the grand cru vineyards and grapes that are harvested during a second pass through the vineyards. First vintage of Duvault-Blochet (since 1934) was the 1999 vintage. If you can find the Duvault-Blochet it’s a fine introduction to the domaine style and quality – and first and foremost a beautiful drinkable wine. The Duvault-Blochet is now sold mainly to restaurants.
Finally Domaine de la Romanee-Conti makes small quantities of Batard Montrachet. This wine is not sold commercially.
The impressive lineup is quite unusual, and Domaine de la Romanee Conti and Bonneau du Martray are, to my knowledge, the only two domaines where all the wines are made from grand cru vineyards.
For a aromatic profile of some of the wines check the tasting notes for the Domaine de la Romanee Conti 2009 vintage.
Style of the wines
The style of the DRC wines is rich, intense, silky, transparent and quite light on the aromatic palate with more red than dark nuances. The use of whole clusters gives a very rich aromatic profile, and a very high complexity as the wine ages. All the wines are very reflective of the terroir, and the difference in terroir is very clear even when the wines are very young and powerful. Domaine de la Romanee-Conti normally use 100% new oak on the wines.
Stylewise only the new Corton is somewhat different, as this wine – so far – is made from destemmed grapes and with a lower percentage of new oak (around 50% in 2009).
I have followed DRC more or less since the 1990 vintage and tasted quite a lot of wines dating back to the 1957 vintage, and despite very high expectations I have rarely been disappointed. The style and quality have been consistent, but still they seem to move forward and improve as conditions and possibilities change.
For me the best vintages (have not tasted all) are 1959, 1971, 1978, 1990, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2009 and I would expect the 2010s to be great. But as mentioned the quality is consistently high, and the wines are normally quite outstanding even in lesser years.
Best wines and vintages from Domaine de la Romanee-Conti
Romanee-Conti, La Tache, Romanee-Saint-Vivant, Richebourg, Montrachet
1959, 1971, 1978, 1990, 1999, 2002, 2005, 2009, 2010
|Overall Rating||A truly legendary producer|
– Extraordinary Producer
– Very Fine
Note: Beginning with the 2009 vintage, DRC only makes 750mls and magnums i.e. no more 6 liter bottles and other large formats. This change is due to the fact that most larger bottles tended to end up on the auction market, and was objects of speculation.
More information can be found on the Domaine de la Romanee Conti website.
Tasting Notes for this producer
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Echezeaux 1993 January 1, 2017
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Richebourg 2002 April 29, 2016
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Montrachet 2009 April 29, 2016
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Richebourg 2004 April 29, 2016
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, La Tâche 2002 April 29, 2016
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Echezeaux 1993 February 15, 2016
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, La Tâche 1990 January 26, 2016
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Echezeaux 2004 December 2, 2014
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, La Tâche 2011 October 10, 2014
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Richebourg 2011 October 1, 2014
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Batard-Montrachet 2007 November 5, 2013
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Richebourg 2000 October 24, 2013
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Vosne-Romanee 1er cru 2008 October 23, 2013
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Echezeaux 2002 May 23, 2013
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Batard Montrachet 2000 April 11, 2013
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Richebourg 2004 April 1, 2013
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Romanee-Conti 2011 March 23, 2013
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, La Tache 2011 March 22, 2013
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Richebourg 2011 March 22, 2013
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Romanee-Saint-Vivant 2011 March 22, 2013
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Echezeaux 2007 March 4, 2013
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Echezeaux 2001 January 8, 2013
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Echezeaux 2002 July 10, 2012
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Echezeaux 2004 July 9, 2012
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, La Tache 2009 May 21, 2012
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Richebourg 2009 May 20, 2012
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Romanee-Saint-Vivant 2009 May 17, 2012
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Grands Echezeaux 2009 May 17, 2012
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Echezeaux 2009 May 16, 2012
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Corton 2009 May 15, 2012
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Vosne Romanee 1’er cru 2009 May 15, 2012
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Grands Echezeaux 2002 July 31, 2011
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Romanee-Saint-Vivant 2004 May 5, 2011
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Echezeaux 2002 July 31, 2005
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Richebourg 1999 June 15, 2003
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, La Tache 1959 April 2, 1994
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, La Tache 1957 April 2, 1994
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, La Tache 1978 April 2, 1994
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, La Tache 1985 April 2, 1994
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, La Tache 1971 April 2, 1994
- Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, La Tache 1990 April 2, 1994
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