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£1,276.00 DP
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F+R STORAGE:

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Average Score 91.67

A much more restrained, even taciturn nose that is actually quite ripe, spicy, fresh and diaphanous features primarily floral infused red berry, mineral and Asian spice aromas that merge gracefully into supple, round and tautly muscled broad-shouldered flavors that are almost as pure as those of the RSV, all wrapped in a detailed, focused and almost painfully intense finish brimming with minerality and striking length. This is a karate champion of a wine that isn't especially big but the power and authority of the punch is hard to believe. I suspect that despite the fact that the '07 Riche will not be a long distance runner by the standards that are typical here, this will be a late bloomer in terms of permitting a true assessment of its character and potential, meaning at least a decade. Allen Meadows, Burghound Jan30,2010
Game, musk, Latakia tobacco, and dark berries in the nose of the Domaine’s 2007 Richebourg foreshadow flavors of salted tart black fruits, roasted game, and hints of black pepper and tar, all underlain by mouth-coating, faintly gum-numbing if fine-grained, tannins. After the charm of the Echezeaux, imposing sweetness of the Grands-Echezeaux, and savory mystery of the Romanee-St.-Vivant, I confess I may be at fault in not conceiving an inspiring role to assign this faintly Syrah-like Richebourg. It displays impressive amplitude, ripeness, and sheer grip – especially for its vintage – but is slightly ungainly (as it was earlier in barrel), if perhaps merely adolescently so. I would (in an ideal world, of course!) want to revisit this in 3-4 years, though I am sure it is built to last for well more than a decade. ||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
Game, musk, Latakia tobacco, and dark berries in the nose of the Domaine’s 2007 Richebourg foreshadow flavors of salted tart black fruits, roasted game, and hints of black pepper and tar, all underlain by mouth-coating, faintly gum-numbing if fine-grained, tannins. After the charm of the Echezeaux, imposing sweetness of the Grands-Echezeaux, and savory mystery of the Romanee-St.-Vivant, I confess I may be at fault in not conceiving an inspiring role to assign this faintly Syrah-like Richebourg. It displays impressive amplitude, ripeness, and sheer grip – especially for its vintage – but is slightly ungainly (as it was earlier in barrel), if perhaps merely adolescently so. I would (in an ideal world, of course!) want to revisit this in 3-4 years, though I am sure it is built to last for well more than a decade. 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

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