Having tasted at Bonneau du Martray and then Domaine Leflaive it was time to head north to Vosne-Romanee and to taste the Domaine de la Romanee-Conti 2014s from bottle with Aubert de Villaine. This was his first tasting from bottle. For good measure and as a reference please see my notes from the bottle tastings of 2012s and 2013s (both these tastings were in the February following – so just over 3 months later).

Corton – Good deep nose with red and black fruit that is then followed by herbs and Potpourri. There is real purity here, none of the hardness that you can sometimes associate with Corton. On the palate there is a beautiful touch of sweetness but also some nervous energy and some sappiness. All really rather fine, driven with some stemminess, delicious. Good, good wine, not massively Corton in nature but delicious. 17.5-18.5

Echezeaux – Orange rind and a dash of cloves, quite herbal on the nose. Both airy and complete, lifted. There is a little saline and the wine gets deeper and  more intense with every swirl. The palate has a lovely attack, sweet and then with that driven element. More richness and texture than the Corton. This is a larger Echezeaux than usual, more zip but also more weight, splendid…loved this. So complete. 18-18.5
Grands Echezeaux – A little deeper in colour than the Echezeaux. More spice and a darker fruit type, more introvert, more sinister than the Echezeaux. The nose is then almost the opposite, less deep, dark more nervous and with lift. There is a substantial weight in energy here, also quite a bit of tannin. This is a structured Grands Echezzeaux and should the mid-palate flesh out then a potentially special wine. 17.5-18.5 (the former score is the palate the later the nose – one to follow)

Romanee-Saint-Vivant – A shade deeper again but the differences are genuinely minute. A nose of real intensity but the orange rind character of Echezeaux is there. So pretty, so airy, a very complete nose. A very gentle but proper palate, a sweet attack and then drive. The palate matches the nose perfectly, very complete, elegant but with a certain graceful power, herbal oranges as part of the fruit. There is a certain richness that adds a dimension to this. My note finishes “exactly as it should be”. 18-18.5+

Richebourg – Possibly a shade lighter than RSV for a change. A certain brooding nature to this, a little less complex than the Vivant on the nose, fruit a shade more candied, good focus but less dimensions. The palate has a certain stout power, darker fruit, masses of good tannins. Classy, serious, broader all round. Re-visiting the nose it is now more complex, there is almost indefinite ageing potential here. Not the grace of  Echezeaux or RSV but the spice and power is there. Classical Richebourg fans (I tend to be more an RSV man) will be very pleased. Scoring here was difficult  17.5- 19

La Tache – Very complex, a herbal edge, a very together wine, much harder to describe than the others for me. More red than black fruit. Saline comes in, a seriously enticing nose. I was surprised when we discussed the wines after (we tasted in silence) that the others found La Tache more muted, I didn’t. The palate has lovely depth and sweetness, good weight too. There is a great element of persistent, elegant power here. The power comes from the layers rather than the weight for weights sake. Returning to the nose my note finishes with simply “that nose!!”. 19

Romanee-Conti – At least the colour of La Tache (for a change). Deep nose, more reserved, more power than usual for me. Monumental depth and complexity. More dark fruit than red. Such sucrosity to the palate, intensely primary and redder, driven, spice and a definite herbal edge. Tight, latent, powerful for Romanee-Conti, super-expansive palate. A brilliantly confusing wine, like nailing jelly to a wall when it comes to describing it. “Rather wonderful” is a useless, if moderately accurate, description. 19-19.5

Montrachet – Pale yet golden colour. Brine and pure saline elements but with pure golden fruit. The definition of delicious. Shortbread and drive, energy. The perfect blend of power, richness and classicism. So, so, so generous yet totally true to young Grand Cru Burgundy. So full but so driven. My note here finishes with “I do not know in what way this could be better!” When I said this to Aubert he, smiled and said yes “we are very happy”. Quite simply the greatest young white wine I have had. 19.5-20

It had been a great and always re-assuring tasting, these are great wines but you feel that they are great rather than trying to be great. I have a feeling that people have underestimated the 2014 reds just as they may do the same with the white 2015s.

And with this we were off to Dijon and train back to London.

The main man!