A new era has begun at Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, with Bertrand de Villaine taking over from his uncle Aubert, and Perrine Fenal moving into the place of the late Henry-Frédéric Roch.
Substantial changes are happening at an estate that is based on tradition and continuity. Add to this that Alexandre Bernier has taken over from Bernard Noblet, and fresh new winds are indeed sweeping gently through Vosne-Romanée.
Traditions certainly will be upheld, but changes will nonetheless happen, now as before. No one makes great wines year after year without adapting their viticulture and vinification to climate change and other substantial challenges.
Respect for the collectors
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is a unique estate, the apotheosis of Vosne-Romanée and top-end Burgundy. As with all great estates, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti takes the preferences of its clients very seriously, and stylistic changes are thought through carefully. This is a complex process at an estate with as long a history as DRC.
The style of DRC’s wines has been in the hands of the Noblet family for decades, first under Andre Noblet from 1946-1985, and then with Bernard Noblet from 1986 until he retired in 2018. The style – and the conditions in which the wines are produced – no doubt evolved under the very long Noblet reign. While some parameters have been stable, important, but subtle, changes have appeared over time. And great wines have been made continually over the years and decades.
Now there’s a new winemaker at the wheel, although saying that, he’s been at DRC for many years. I tasted the 2011 vintage with Alexandre Bernier back in 2012, on my very first visit to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.
Bernier has built up a plethora of knowledge, experience, and ideas over his years under Bernard Noblet. His plans for improvements and changes will take the DRC wines forward to the future.
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