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Domaine de La Romanee Conti la Tache 2010, 750mL (BH98, WA96-98, ST97) from The BPW - Merchants of rare and fine wines.

Domaine de La Romanee Conti la Tache

750mL

Vintage: 2010
Region: France--Burgundy--Red
Appellation: Vosne Romanee, Cote de Nuits

BH98, WA96-98, ST97
Rated 98 points by the Burghound: `This is perhaps even more floral than the Richebourg and every bit as spicy on the ultra-pure, cool and remarkably elegant mix of red and blue pinot fruit, red currant and wild red berries that are openly mineral-inflected. As with all of the DRC ?10s, the equally stony flavors and supporting tannins are extremely fine and while there is ample power and vibrancy, the palate feel is all silk and satin. To be sure, this is a big wine with impressive concentration but this is definitely not cut from the same cloth as say the 2005 or 2009 versions are. I can admire both styles but this one is seriously lovely. Readers should note however that while the 2010 LT is exceptionally fine it will still require some 20 to 25 years of cellar time before it reaches its full majority but when it does, it will be considered one of the all-time great vintages for this incredibly storied wine. If your pocketbook can stand the damage, this is an absolute ?do no miss under any circumstances` wine`More info about this producer from the Burghound: `Co-director Aubert de Villaine made a remarkable statement when I saw him in November when he told me that `in the 46 years that I have been a vigneron in Burgundy, I have never seen a vintage such as 2011 where the difference between success and failure hinged so completely on luck. The only way that I can succinctly describe the vintage is to call it a fantastic surprise and to add that we were so very lucky. It`s the only way that I can make sense of a vintage which started so very early and had an April that was hotter than July and we still had not only ripe but excellent raw materials with which to make our wines. We began the growing season much earlier than usual with unusually hot and dry conditions. The vines love this kind of weather when they`re just beginning to grow and thus they prospered remarkably well until just before the flowering which occurred about the 20th of May; this timing is about the same as what we experienced in 2003 and 2007. Unfortunately from that point forward the vineyards, and those who work in them, were consistently battered by chaotic conditions that included brutal swings from cold to heavy rains to extreme heat and seemingly each of these changes engendered damaging storms. We were slightly luckier in the Cote de Nuits than in the Cote de Beaune as there was significantly less rainfall. That was only a small benefit though because when you farm biodynamically with contact products, this necessitated multiple passages through the vineyards after each rain. We were really nervous in July and ever watchful for the ultimate enemy of the vine, which of course is botrytis, particularly since the rain had swelled the berries and this distention caused the skins to be very thin with multiple micro-fissures that could thus easily be penetrated. Happily the expected July heat never materialized and thus the botrytis, which loves warm and humid weather, didn`t spread unduly. The weather changed again on the 15th of August and became very warm and sometimes even scorching which is often a problem if the growing season is dry but in 2011 there were plenty of water reserves and this allowed the vines to push the fruit toward its final maturity. In fact, the rise in sugars and concomitant fall in acidities were nothing short of spectacular in their rapidity. Some sectors in Burgundy suffered from hail but I am relieved to say that in Vosne we were spared this damage. Unfortunately the storms continued and each time we waited while holding our collective breath that botrytis wouldn`t explode and take the entire crop with it. This is why I say that sometimes fate is the only difference between success and failure. The first rule of making great wine is to always wait for the full maturation of your fruit to occur. The second rule is that you must accept the risk of losing all of your fruit in order to achieve rule number one. And in all of the years that I have been doing this never had it been so hard to wait because as I say the conditions were perfect for botrytis. As I observed, we were lucky and I was never so glad to finally start picking, which we did on the 2nd of September with the Corton and then again on the 5th for our vines in Vosne. When we began picking it was warm and dry and despite constant weather predictions of storms we never had even one day of rain, which if not a miracle then it`s close to one. There was a lot of sorting required and you had to be very thorough in order to excise unripe berries and those that were damaged and/or affected by rot. To call it exacting work would be a huge understatement. Even after the sorting work that we did in the vineyard we then reexamined the fruit on a vibrating sorting table surrounded by a team of 14 people who then did it again. It was very interesting to see all of the secondary fruit, insects, in particular lady bugs that were found in the reject bins. We slowly picked this way until the 13th of September even though each day we feared being washed out as the weather service continually predicted stormy weather was just around the corner. Romanee-Conti and Montrachet were picked on the 6th, La Tache on the 5th and 6th, Richebourg on the 7th and 8th, Romanee St. Vivant on the 8th and 9th, Grands Echezeaux on the 9th and 10th and we finished with Echezeaux between the 10th and 11th. I would put our yield in 2011 at about 30% less than a normal crop though I am exceptionally happy with the quality, in particular with just how ripe the phenolics were. We used on average about 60% whole clusters and I was surprised not only with how deep the colors were but also how quickly they arrived, which isn`t always the case. The cuvaisons were on the long side at between 21 and 24 days. As to the wines themselves, they are based on their fruit with really wonderfully fine-grained tannins. They actually remind me quite a bit of the 2009s, not in the sense that they are as ripe and filled with sunshine but in their tenderness and particularly in the style of the tannins. I like them a lot and they should provide for many a pleasurable experience.` The Domaine`s 2011s are excellent and among the best that the vintage has to offer. As M. de Villaine suggests, they are wines that should age extremely well yet be approachable sooner than is typical, at least by the ageworthy standards of this venerable address.`As to the now in-bottle ?10s, I am happy to say that they all scored within my predicted ranges and at or near the upper end of them at that. As such, while there weren`t any particular surprises, it`s worth noting that once again the Echezeaux has turned in a superb performance, in fact I would go so far as to say that 2010 may be the best vintage for this wine in a long time. Moreover it is following excellent performances in both 2008 and 2009 so it may be that the Echezeaux is finally ready to take its place at the grand cru table chez DRC without feeling like an unworthy guest. Perhaps the only mild disappointment was the Grands Echezeaux, in fact this is the first time in all of my years of visiting here that I have ever scored the Echezeaux higher. And while this is not necessarily rare, 2010 is a vintage where both the La Tache and Romanee-Conti knock on the door of perfection?.if such a thing exists. And speaking of enjoying these treasures, 2010 is not going to be a vintage to even think about drinking young so for those readers who loves the Domaine`s wines but don`t have the 15 to 20 years of patience they typically require in great vintages, then you`re better off focusing on such recent vintages such as 2007, 2009 and 2011. Note that last year I was told that for 2010 it was unlikely that there would be a Cuvee Duvault-Blochet and in fact that turned out to be the case.`


$2900.00

OUT OF STOCK
Read CellarTracker Wine Reviews

Domaine de La Romanee Conti la Tache

750mL

Vintage: 2010
Region: France--Burgundy--Red
Appellation: Vosne Romanee, Cote de Nuits

BH98, WA96-98, ST97
Rated 98 points by the Burghound: `This is perhaps even more floral than the Richebourg and every bit as spicy on the ultra-pure, cool and remarkably elegant mix of red and blue pinot fruit, red currant and wild red berries that are openly mineral-inflected. As with all of the DRC ?10s, the equally stony flavors and supporting tannins are extremely fine and while there is ample power and vibrancy, the palate feel is all silk and satin. To be sure, this is a big wine with impressive concentration but this is definitely not cut from the same cloth as say the 2005 or 2009 versions are. I can admire both styles but this one is seriously lovely. Readers should note however that while the 2010 LT is exceptionally fine it will still require some 20 to 25 years of cellar time before it reaches its full majority but when it does, it will be considered one of the all-time great vintages for this incredibly storied wine. If your pocketbook can stand the damage, this is an absolute ?do no miss under any circumstances` wine`More info about this producer from the Burghound: `Co-director Aubert de Villaine made a remarkable statement when I saw him in November when he told me that `in the 46 years that I have been a vigneron in Burgundy, I have never seen a vintage such as 2011 where the difference between success and failure hinged so completely on luck. The only way that I can succinctly describe the vintage is to call it a fantastic surprise and to add that we were so very lucky. It`s the only way that I can make sense of a vintage which started so very early and had an April that was hotter than July and we still had not only ripe but excellent raw materials with which to make our wines. We began the growing season much earlier than usual with unusually hot and dry conditions. The vines love this kind of weather when they`re just beginning to grow and thus they prospered remarkably well until just before the flowering which occurred about the 20th of May; this timing is about the same as what we experienced in 2003 and 2007. Unfortunately from that point forward the vineyards, and those who work in them, were consistently battered by chaotic conditions that included brutal swings from cold to heavy rains to extreme heat and seemingly each of these changes engendered damaging storms. We were slightly luckier in the Cote de Nuits than in the Cote de Beaune as there was significantly less rainfall. That was only a small benefit though because when you farm biodynamically with contact products, this necessitated multiple passages through the vineyards after each rain. We were really nervous in July and ever watchful for the ultimate enemy of the vine, which of course is botrytis, particularly since the rain had swelled the berries and this distention caused the skins to be very thin with multiple micro-fissures that could thus easily be penetrated. Happily the expected July heat never materialized and thus the botrytis, which loves warm and humid weather, didn`t spread unduly. The weather changed again on the 15th of August and became very warm and sometimes even scorching which is often a problem if the growing season is dry but in 2011 there were plenty of water reserves and this allowed the vines to push the fruit toward its final maturity. In fact, the rise in sugars and concomitant fall in acidities were nothing short of spectacular in their rapidity. Some sectors in Burgundy suffered from hail but I am relieved to say that in Vosne we were spared this damage. Unfortunately the storms continued and each time we waited while holding our collective breath that botrytis wouldn`t explode and take the entire crop with it. This is why I say that sometimes fate is the only difference between success and failure. The first rule of making great wine is to always wait for the full maturation of your fruit to occur. The second rule is that you must accept the risk of losing all of your fruit in order to achieve rule number one. And in all of the years that I have been doing this never had it been so hard to wait because as I say the conditions were perfect for botrytis. As I observed, we were lucky and I was never so glad to finally start picking, which we did on the 2nd of September with the Corton and then again on the 5th for our vines in Vosne. When we began picking it was warm and dry and despite constant weather predictions of storms we never had even one day of rain, which if not a miracle then it`s close to one. There was a lot of sorting required and you had to be very thorough in order to excise unripe berries and those that were damaged and/or affected by rot. To call it exacting work would be a huge understatement. Even after the sorting work that we did in the vineyard we then reexamined the fruit on a vibrating sorting table surrounded by a team of 14 people who then did it again. It was very interesting to see all of the secondary fruit, insects, in particular lady bugs that were found in the reject bins. We slowly picked this way until the 13th of September even though each day we feared being washed out as the weather service continually predicted stormy weather was just around the corner. Romanee-Conti and Montrachet were picked on the 6th, La Tache on the 5th and 6th, Richebourg on the 7th and 8th, Romanee St. Vivant on the 8th and 9th, Grands Echezeaux on the 9th and 10th and we finished with Echezeaux between the 10th and 11th. I would put our yield in 2011 at about 30% less than a normal crop though I am exceptionally happy with the quality, in particular with just how ripe the phenolics were. We used on average about 60% whole clusters and I was surprised not only with how deep the colors were but also how quickly they arrived, which isn`t always the case. The cuvaisons were on the long side at between 21 and 24 days. As to the wines themselves, they are based on their fruit with really wonderfully fine-grained tannins. They actually remind me quite a bit of the 2009s, not in the sense that they are as ripe and filled with sunshine but in their tenderness and particularly in the style of the tannins. I like them a lot and they should provide for many a pleasurable experience.` The Domaine`s 2011s are excellent and among the best that the vintage has to offer. As M. de Villaine suggests, they are wines that should age extremely well yet be approachable sooner than is typical, at least by the ageworthy standards of this venerable address.`As to the now in-bottle ?10s, I am happy to say that they all scored within my predicted ranges and at or near the upper end of them at that. As such, while there weren`t any particular surprises, it`s worth noting that once again the Echezeaux has turned in a superb performance, in fact I would go so far as to say that 2010 may be the best vintage for this wine in a long time. Moreover it is following excellent performances in both 2008 and 2009 so it may be that the Echezeaux is finally ready to take its place at the grand cru table chez DRC without feeling like an unworthy guest. Perhaps the only mild disappointment was the Grands Echezeaux, in fact this is the first time in all of my years of visiting here that I have ever scored the Echezeaux higher. And while this is not necessarily rare, 2010 is a vintage where both the La Tache and Romanee-Conti knock on the door of perfection?.if such a thing exists. And speaking of enjoying these treasures, 2010 is not going to be a vintage to even think about drinking young so for those readers who loves the Domaine`s wines but don`t have the 15 to 20 years of patience they typically require in great vintages, then you`re better off focusing on such recent vintages such as 2007, 2009 and 2011. Note that last year I was told that for 2010 it was unlikely that there would be a Cuvee Duvault-Blochet and in fact that turned out to be the case.`


$2900.00

OUT OF STOCK
Read CellarTracker Wine Reviews





 

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