x
  • Country ranking ?

    182
  • Producer ranking ?

    20
  • Decanting time

    3h
  • When to drink

    now-2035
  • Food Pairing

    Duck Breast & Lentil and Parsnip Salad

Parker 100 p / Tasted at the La Tâche vertical at The Square. Having not tasted the La Tâche 1999 since it had been bottled, I was intrigued to see how it was developing. Monumentally, is the correct answer. First and foremost this is a seriously long-term La Tâche that is maturing at a glacial pace. Indeed, I left most in my glass and waited for it to open. An hour later and it was firing on all cylinders. It is blessed with an incredibly intense, powerful nose that loses its broodiness with aeration and eventually unveils a crystalline set of mineral-soaked aromatics that sport a decadent, almost exotic floral note–wilted violets and potpourri. The palate has a quite astonishing structure, but it is more the symmetry that makes this one of the greatest vintages of recent years. It unfolds with daring passion to reveal layers of plush but focused dark plum and cassis fruit that just seem to flow and flow on the never-ending finish. It is a multifaceted, multidimensional masterpiece that really needs another decade in bottle.

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The Story

Romanée-Conti lies on brown limestone soils 60 cm deep with a major clay component. Romanée-Saint-Vivant has similar but deeper (90 cm) soils. Higher up, La Romanée occupies a markedly sloping site (12%) and the soil texture is less clayey. La Tâche and La Grande Rue share brown limestone soils, rather shallow at the top end with deeper rendzinas lower down. The same is true for the Richebourg, depending on slope and aspect. The underlying rock is hard Premeaux limestone dating from the Jurassic (175 million years BC).

Lying between Flagey-Échezeaux (home of the ÉCHEZEAUX appellation) and Nuits-Saint-Georges, Vosne-Romanée occupies a middle position in the Côte de Nuits. The vines grow at altitudes of 250 to 310 metres and face east or, in some cases, slightly south of east. Vosne-Romanée, the central jewel in the necklace of appellations which is the burgundian côte, is not content with holding a mere four aces but boasts a total of six Grands Crus, each one famous the world over. A thousand years ago, it was the Cluniac monks of Saint-Vivant de Vergy and the Cistercians of Cîteaux who first realised the value of these very special plots of land.

One of these vineyards takes its name from Prince Conti who lost his heart to it in 1760. Romanée-Conti is one of the wonders ofthe world and has always been a singly-held entity. Next door to it, Romanée-Saint-Vivant recalls the medieval monastery of the Hautes-Côtes which is currently undergoing restoration and which is linked to it by its own path. La Romanée, La Tâche and La Grande Rue are also singly-held entities, as is Richebourg, whose mere name is enough to fill a glass.

These Grands Crus frequently give good results from long laying-down. As a general rule, they shouldn't be drunk under about ten years of age but sometimes they will be aged up to 20 or 30 years. Each appellation has its own distinct personality depending on its year of production and on the stage it has reached in its development. These flamboyant red wines fully express the subtlety and complexity of the Burgundian Pinot Noir grape. Their colour is a dark ruby turning crimson with age. Their wide-ranging bouquet is divided among small red and black fruits, violet, spices and, with time, underbrush. On the palate, this wine is well-defined with a powerful body. It is delicate, sensual, frank and full.

In addition to their powerful structure and exceptional longevity, these great wines develop tertiary aromas of truffle, underbrush, leather and fur. It goes without saying that strong-flavoured meats will do them justice : furred or feathered game, braised, in sauce, or simply grilled. Wild-fowl (eg Peking duck) or a nice cut of roast veal will be gently enveloped by the close-packed but elegant tannins of these mighty Pinot Noir wines.

Serving temperatures : 15 to 16 °C.

 

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Vintage 1999

1999 Harvest
Words fail us when we try to describe the perfection of the grapes that were passing on our sorting table in 1999 ! We already saw superb grapes during the last decade,
in 1990 or 1996 for instance, but this year, in our opinion, they surpass them all in finesse and maturity. We could see a lot of small grapes, of « millerandage », and, as a sign of the great years, the older vines, not very productive in general, yielded this year a generous harvest of extremely fine grapes, sumptuous examples of the finest Pinot Noir.

The story of a vintage is so full, so rich, that it is not easy to define the most important factors, those which decided the course of events.

Once again, the scenario was disconcerting : who would have thought in Spring with the rain falling every day and mildew threatening, with the grass growing in the vineyards without our being able to plough, that on September 20, that is to say very early in the season, we would harvest grapes that rank among the most beautiful of the century ? !

It was precisely thanks to the exceptionally rainy Spring that the vineyards could reserve enough water to get through, without suffering, the very hot and dry period we experienced in Burgundy between August 15 and September 20. This consecutive balance permitted the leaves to fully function in their role of sugar producers and the grapes could completely and harmoniously ripen. We observed this year the almost miraculous combination of high contents of sugars (very high degrees), good acidity (concentration in the berries) and perfectly healthy grapes. It is interes¬ting to underline that the combination of these three factors in the same harvest only occurs very rarely.

Another exceptional phenomenon : the grapes that were right in the sun had « roasted » and contained concentrated sugar which released during the fermentations only. All the vats had some sort of natural « sugaring», ending with higher degrees than those, already high, that we noted at the beginning of fermentation.

Moreover, although the grapes were in a totally perfect health, we had a very selective harvest, leaving aside for a second picking the vines that were overloaded or the young ones that were replanted recently.

Only one regret : the fine weather abandoned us after a few days of harvest and the rain disturbed the second part of it, but on the one hand the rain fell mostly in the night, which enabled us to harvest normally during the day, on the other hand they arrived too late to create an appreciable dilution.

As regards quantity, it is exceptional too : thanks to the beautiful bunch setting and the favourable conditions during the flowering, the production is about the same as in 1990 or 1996.

It is therefore a vintage of very high lineage that seems to prepare in vats. Fermentations are slow and reach high temperatures naturally, colours are garnet-red, nearly black, typical of great years. We shall know in a few days, after the wines are drawn, whether they are equal to the splendour of the grapes we harvested. If it is the case, it is by offering a great vintage that the vineyards will have greeted the end of the millennium.

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Average Bottle Price

2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2005 2000
3 732€ +3.7% 3 599€ +11.9% 3 216€ -20.3% 4 034€ +9.4% 3 689€ +27.6% 2 890€ +220.0% 903€ +37.9% 655€

This data comes from the FINE Auction Index, a composite of average prices for wines sold at commercial auctions in 20 countries. The average prices from each year have been collected since 1990. This chart plots the index value of the average price of the wines.

Latest Pro-tasting notes

24 tasting notes

Tasting note

color

Medium, Purple and Bright

ending

Medium, Smooth and Extensive

flavors

Cherry, Mineral, Raspberry, Earthy, Floral and Blackcurrant

nose

Refined, Rich, Pure and Intense

recommend

Yes

taste

High in Acidity, Medium tannin, Well-structured, Perfectly balanced, Concentrated, Youthful, Medium-bodied, Modest, Harmonious, Ripe, Elegant, Dry and Silky tannins

Verdict

Sophisticated and Outstanding

Written Notes

The 1999 was another powerhouse, adolescent perfection. The only criticism was that it was too young. Antonio summed it up, ‘the two 1999s are staggering.’ There is a reason Aubert once said to me that it may be the best vintage the Domaine has ever made.
  • 99p

Full ruby-red colour. Nuanced and pure nose of raspberries, strawberries and black cherries highlighted with minerals. Some still unintegrated yet stylish oak on the nose. Ripe attractive and powerful fruitiness on the palate. The fine tannic structure is in perfect harmony with the smooth silky texture. Well-structured and intensely fruity wine with enormous aging and quality potential.

  • 97p

Full colour. Hidden nose. Really very concentrated; even dense. Quite a bit of tannin. Excellent grip. This has very lovely fruit and has lots of dimension and promise. Splendid quality! Potentially a great wine. From 2016.

Information

Origin

Vosne-Romanée, Burgundy

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Value For Money

Very good

Investment potential

Very Good

Fake factory

Be Cautious

Glass Time

2h

Drinking Temperature

17

Other wines from this producer

Bâtard-Montrachet

Corton Grand Cru

Echézeaux

Grands Echézeaux

Les Gaudichots

Marc

Montrachet

Richebourg

Romanée Conti

Romanee Saint Vivant

Vosne Romanée

Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Cuvée Duvault Blochet

Inside Information

Wine Advocate #136
Aug 2001
Pierre Rovani (93-96) Drink: N/A $3995-$4895 (335)
The medium to dark ruby-colored 1999 La Tache has sweet, tangy raspberry, black currant, candied cherry, leather, and spice aromas. This medium to full-bodied wine is harmonious, refined, and powerful. It is expansive, magnificently delineated, and feminine, particularly for La Tache. Its flavor profile is crammed with an assortment of super-ripe red and black fruit laced with vanilla beans. It has loads of sweet tannin that can be detected in its admirable finish. 
Read more

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users. or to see wine moments from your world.

97p
 Essi Avellan MW / Editor of the Champagne magazine, Pro (Finland)  tasted  La Tâche 1999  ( Domaine de la Romanée-Conti )

Full ruby-red colour. Nuanced and pure nose of raspberries, strawberries and black cherries highlighted with minerals. Some still unintegrated yet stylish oak on the nose. Ripe attractive and powerful fruitiness on the palate. The fine tannic structure is in perfect harmony with the smooth silky texture. Well-structured and intensely fruity wine with enormous aging and quality potential.

2m 8d ago

 Clive Coates / MW, Wine Writer (France)  tasted  La Tâche 1999  ( Domaine de la Romanée-Conti )

Full colour. Hidden nose. Really very concentrated; even dense. Quite a bit of tannin. Excellent grip. This has very lovely fruit and has lots of dimension and promise. Splendid quality! Potentially a great wine. From 2016.

7m 10d ago

99p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  La Tâche 1999  ( Domaine de la Romanée-Conti )

"The 1999 was another powerhouse, adolescent perfection. The only criticism was that it was too young. Antonio summed it up, ‘the two 1999s are staggering.’ There is a reason Aubert once said to me that it may be the best vintage the Domaine has ever made."

11m 17d ago

93p
 Juha Lihtonen, Sommelier (Finland)  tasted  La Tâche 1999  ( Domaine de la Romanée-Conti )

"1.390 cases made (March 27th price €650)"

4y 6m ago

99p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  La Tâche 1999  ( Domaine de la Romanée-Conti )

"his has traditionally been for me one of the youngest wines to achieve ╢legendaryâ•˙ status at a young age. While some 1999s have shut down a bit, the La Tache still shows why 1999 is one of the great and generous vintages of our lifetime. Even Aubert mentioned that it may be his greatest vintage ever, and he is not a man who would say something like that lightly. It will be a pleasure to taste this wine again and again and again over the course of the next three or four decades. "

4y 7m ago

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