|Domaine de la Romanee Conti
|Burgundy, Cotes de Nuits
|In OWC. Bottle number digitally removed
The 2019 Romanée-Conti Grand Cru is a wine that brought tears to my eyes. Unfurling in the glass with scents of rose petals, black tea, wild berries, exotic spices, violets, bergamot and licorice, it's full-bodied, sensual and enveloping, with a broad attack that segues into a weightless but pungently intense mid-palate defined by striking energy and precision. Seamless and elegant, with melting tannins and mouthwatering acids, it concludes with an expansive, intensely floral finish. It's a monument in the making.
The 2019 Romanée-Conti Grand Cru was picked on 17 of September at 22.5hL/ha. I left my glass for five minutes before the first sip since it does not like to give everything away at first pouring. Firstly, it is a little deeper in colour than other recent vintages. Waiting for the wine to open pays dividends, revealing exquisitely-defined brambly red fruit, incense and red roses. There is a very slight gamey element, not strong, but just lingers off-stage. The palate is medium-bodied with lace-like tannins that frame the otherworldly, pure, red fruit. It is perfectly balanced and bewitchingly pure, a crescendo of flavour that this year, at least at this early juncture, put the La Tâche in its place. So elegant on the finish and remarkably persistent, this is just perfection in a glass. 409 cases produced.
A little more restrained on the nose than the Tâche. Intense nose that has hints of blackcurrant! More majestic than La Tâche. Not as approachable but certainly at least as magnificent – even more so. And then on the palate there is such integrity! Such concentration of pure Pinot grown with care. Great life. If I try to contrast this with Leroy wines (for obvious reasons), the DRC style is definitely more restrained, more obviously dry, but just as persistent. A monument.
As is typically the case, the noses of the La Tâche and the RC are very different, with the former being exuberant and the latter typically brooding and often grumpy. At the time of my late November visit this was mildly reduced but not so much as to completely suppress ripe floral and spice whiffs. The cool, pure and highly energetic large-scale flavors also possess a simply gorgeous mid-palate texture that contrasts somewhat with the compact, backward and taciturn finish that possess stunningly good complexity and incredible persistence. The balance is perfect and like all of the greatest vintages of this storied and multi-faceted wine, the word that comes to mind is Zen as the sense of harmony is unmatched. I could taste this wine three days later and while I don't pretend to know if the 2019 RC will ultimately match the finest vintages over the past 100 years, based on the underlying material, it certainly has a very good chance of doing so. In sum, Burgundy doesn't get any better than this.