This will, in time, form a part of a bigger post to reflect nearly three days at the Domaine as I did four years ago, documented – HERE. There is though, a logical reason that I wanted to post my 2016 notes first!
These notes are from a tasting of the wines in bottle, at the Domaine, on 17th January 2019. You will notice 3 “omissions” from the Domaine de la Romanee-Conti’s usual line-up. Montrachet 2016, as was well documented, has not been made as such. The fruit going, with six others, into the Montrachet a Sept Domaines. However, the Montrachet is very rarely shown anyhow. Therefore the two more marked omissions are the Echezeaux and Grands Echezeaux both of which produced minuscule yields, 6 and 7hl/ha respectively. These have all been bottled as magnums (980 and 710 respectively) for later release. I imagine this will happen next time there is a particularly small harvest but this is purely a personal prediction.
I tasted through the wines twice, about 30mins apart, so if there appears to be a second set of, brief, notes or even a second score then that is why.
Corton Grand Cru 2016 – “Onwards”
Ave 46 year old vines. Harvested 22/9/16. Yield in 2016 22hl/ha
Simply put this gets better every vintage. Full good deep and strong colour. Pungent dark fruits and a shade of iron, almost a cold fresh ferrous nature. Brambles and blackcurrant come out with air. Good in mouth, iron again and an almost northern Rhone cool syrah note. Superb. Lifts to the finish. 18 / 20
Iron filings, grit. Very Corton! Almost a whiff of blood. 17.5–18 / 20
Drink 2023 to 2035+
Romanée-Saint-Vivant Grand Cru 2016 – “Subdued Class”
Ave 38 year old vines. Harvested 27-28/9/16. Yield in 2016 27hl/ha
Lovely colour, deep for Romanee-Saint-Vivant, a lighter savoury but also red fruited nose. So different to Corton of course. Confident, not arrogant. Great energy and properness to the palate. Good grip but poised. The fruit type is harder to define than usual. A little of whole bunch spice too. This is really rather complete. 18 / 20
I love the completeness here, becoming less feminine and more complete. 18-18+ / 20
Drink 2013 to 2039+
Richebourg Grand Cru 2016 – “Out-Performer”
Ave 46 year old vines. Harvested 23-24/9/16. Yield in 2016 24hl/ha
Stronger colour to the rim than RSV but not substantially darker in the main. Quite brooding. Masculine. A little more foursquare. Darker fruits, a great texture. This is a “Vin de Garde” for sure. Long and weighty. Leave alone to await it’s animal side. Freshness on the nose does arrive but this is brooding. 18-19 / 20
Almost tar-like character. So savoury, bold. Very Richebourg. 18.5 / 20
Drink 2028 to 2040+
La Tâche Grand Cru Monopole 2016 – “Star”
Ave 51 year old vines. Harvested 24-25/9/16. Yield in 2016 31hl/ha
Colour almost the same as Romanee-Saint-Vivant. A muted yet gorgeous nose that somehow combines the Romanee-Saint-Vivant and Richebourg! Great salinity on the palate initially but with more of a perfumed RSV feel and amazing fruit and floral perfume. Not the richness of Richebourg but all the class. The fruit on the nose is deep but fresh, the palate somehow the reverse… There is a trademark (of the 16s it appears) iron core to this wine. Is it the stems? 18.5-19.25 / 20
This is more serious, less flirtatious than sometimes. Serieux! 19 / 20
Drink 2026 to 2040+
Romanee-Conti Grand Cru Monopole 2016 – “Classic”
Ave 57 year old vines. Harvested 25/9/16. Yield in 2016 24hl/ha
Similar colour again. The nose is very special, to La Tâche is added a shade more focus and a lot of winter spices; clove and cinnamon appear. Deep and refined with air comes a concentrated savoury red fruit, more and more so with time. This is VERY complete.
The Palate is bold for Romanee-Conti. Deep and full, unusually concentrated. This is special, also a “Vin de Garde” for sure but the red fruit is so driven. Quite a lot of dry matter too. Full and superb. 19-19.5 / 20
Some savoury notes, as with others there is seriousness and concentration and an intensity. But also a joyous sweetness in behind it all. 19-19.5 / 20
Drink 2028 to 2048+
Thanks to “Tree” for her deciphering of my notes