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Average Score 95.33

I have never been treated to such a profusion of floral perfume from this legendary site as rose over the glass of 2007 Romanee-Conti. Hyacinth, rose, gladiola, and iris are underlain by scents of moss-covered, damp stone, wild ginger, and diverse tiny red fruits. “Romanee-Conti c’est le nez,” remarks de Villaine of this almost ethereal Pinot. The contrast with the more fleshly La Tache could not be more dramatic. But this doesn’t pull back on its silken-textured palate, either – far from it: along with persistent inner-mouth profusion of floral perfume come savory, irresistibly juicy raspberry and pomegranate as well as an impression of marrow-rich, multi-boned meat stock. A wafting, wave-like finish harbors the sort of exhilarating sheer refreshment one looks for in white wine, and a kaleidoscopic interchange of colorful floral, spice, fruit, carnal, and mineral elements such as few wines of any sort can deliver.||Domaine de La Romanee-Conti director Aubert de Villaine perceives both the estate’s 2008 and 2007 collections as vins de garde, and I can’t argue with that assessment, even though when I first tasted the 2007s – soon after they had come out of malo – I harbored reservations, wondering whether to interpret de Villaine’s description of them as “ethereal” to read “ephemeral.” He says holding back the usual 5% share of production for the Domaine’s own cellar was difficult in the greatly reduced 2008 vintage, and that he is already regretting not having arranged to bottle a larger share in magnum. He still had time when I visited in April to reconsider the bottle format for three appellations, which were the only ones I was able to taste, since De Villaine is loathe to show wines in the first 9-12 months after bottling. (I’ll report on the full 2008 collection from bottle at a later date.) If the 2007s here were unusual for that vintage in the degree to which they gained stature in the course of elevage, such behavior was normal when it came to 2008, so that I was not surprised to hear de Villaine remark on a new-found degree of confidence in the stature of that collection. To an even greater degree than in most vintages, success in 2007 and 2008 came down to meticulousness at every stage; to quality of vine material; and to location, in all of which respects no estate in Burgundy has any advantage over the Domaine de La Romanee-Conti. Interestingly, the estate lingered no longer over the picking of their 2008s – from the first of the La Tache on September 27 to the last of the Echezeaux on October 6 – than they had over the 2007s, which were picked from September 1-11. The inclusion of stems was lowered to less than half in 2007, incidentally, but in 2008 was typically closer to three-quarters. Vendange entier is a technique not only time-honored and in continuous use at the Domaine de La Romanee-Conti (even when it fell out of favor at most Burgundy estates in the waning 20th century), but one which de Villaine and cellarmaster Bernard Noblet have subjected to repeated testing, so as to establish in any given vintage the right balance between 100% de-stemmed (“which lacks something by way of complexity,” says de Villaine) and 100% (“which can be too marked by the stems,” he continues). Wine Advocate.June, 2010
I have never been treated to such a profusion of floral perfume from this legendary site as rose over the glass of 2007 Romanee-Conti. Hyacinth, rose, gladiola, and iris are underlain by scents of moss-covered, damp stone, wild ginger, and diverse tiny red fruits. “Romanee-Conti c’est le nez,” remarks de Villaine of this almost ethereal Pinot. The contrast with the more fleshly La Tache could not be more dramatic. But this doesn’t pull back on its silken-textured palate, either – far from it: along with persistent inner-mouth profusion of floral perfume come savory, irresistibly juicy raspberry and pomegranate as well as an impression of marrow-rich, multi-boned meat stock. A wafting, wave-like finish harbors the sort of exhilarating sheer refreshment one looks for in white wine, and a kaleidoscopic interchange of colorful floral, spice, fruit, carnal, and mineral elements such as few wines of any sort can deliver. Domaine de La Romanee-Conti director Aubert de Villaine perceives both the estate’s 2008 and 2007 collections as vins de garde, and I can’t argue with that assessment, even though when I first tasted the 2007s – soon after they had come out of malo – I harbored reservations, wondering whether to interpret de Villaine’s description of them as “ethereal” to read “ephemeral.” He says holding back the usual 5% share of production for the Domaine’s own cellar was difficult in the greatly reduced 2008 vintage, and that he is already regretting not having arranged to bottle a larger share in magnum. He still had time when I visited in April to reconsider the bottle format for three appellations, which were the only ones I was able to taste, since De Villaine is loathe to show wines in the first 9-12 months after bottling. (I’ll report on the full 2008 collection from bottle at a later date.) If the 2007s here were unusual for that vintage in the degree to which they gained stature in the course of elevage, such behavior was normal when it came to 2008, so that I was not surprised to hear de Villaine remark on a new-found degree of confidence in the stature of that collection. To an even greater degree than in most vintages, success in 2007 and 2008 came down to meticulousness at every stage. to quality of vine material. and to location, in all of which respects no estate in Burgundy has any advantage over the Domaine de La Romanee-Conti. Interestingly, the estate lingered no longer over the picking of their 2008s – from the first of the La Tache on September 27 to the last of the Echezeaux on October 6 – than they had over the 2007s, which were picked from September 1-11. The inclusion of stems was lowered to less than half in 2007, incidentally, but in 2008 was typically closer to three-quarters. Vendange entier is a technique not only time-honored and in continuous use at the Domaine de La Romanee-Conti (even when it fell out of favor at most Burgundy estates in the waning 20th century), but one which de Villaine and cellarmaster Bernard Noblet have subjected to repeated testing, so as to establish in any given vintage the right balance between 100% de-stemmed (“which lacks something by way of complexity,” says de Villaine) and 100% (“which can be too marked by the stems,” he continues). David Schildknecht, Wine Advocate # 189
An intensely floral nose of rose petal, violets, distinct herbal notes, plum, Asian spices, soy and very fresh, airy and lilting red berry aromas that are cool and assured and complement to perfection the poised, pure and harmonious middle weight flavors that ooze a very fine minerality and are supported by equally fine tannins on the discreet yet stunningly long finish. This is completely Zen in that the 'wow' factor is the perfect harmony and proportionality of the elements. Is this one of the best RC's ever? No. But is it one of the most impressive from the standpoint of understated grace and class? Absolutely. Note that as I mentioned with the La Tâche, there does not appear to be the usual separation between it and the Romanée-Conti versus the other wines in the range in '07, at least not yet. Allen Meadows, Burghound Jan30,2010

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