x
  • Country ranking ?

    94
  • Producer ranking ?

    9
  • Decanting time

    2h
  • When to drink

    now to 2035
  • Food Pairing

    Enjoy without food

The Story

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is without question the most famous estate in Burgundy and arguably the greatest, producing some of the best wines in the world. It is probably one of the most traditional wineries in France. Wines are produced in small quantities while the demand is huge. The domaine has 25 hectares of vineyards, all Grand Crus, including the jewel in the crown, the 1.8 hectare monopole of Romanée Conti.

Romanée-Conti, a vineyard of four and a half acres,was originally the property of the Abbey of St. Vivant. In 1760 Prince Conti acquired it against the competition of a famous collector of jewellery, Madame de Pompadour – the king’s minister against the king’s mistress. He withdrew it from the market and reserved it for his own dazzling social events. It was he who created the myth surrounding Romanée-Conti.

The price of this tiny, treasured vineyard was 80.000 livres, which in those days was worth a small kingdom. Reclaimed as property of the nation during the Revolution, the vineyard passed through the hands of several proprietors to an ancestor of the present owner for 14.000 gold pounds in 1868.

–We are the keeper of a certain philosophy of wine and, mainly, we are concerned by the perfection in details" assures Aubert de Villaine. 

 

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 1985

The December 8/2012 Fine and Rare Wines auction at Bonhams in San Francisco, simulcast in New York and Los Angeles, brought a successful result of $1.35 million. The top lot of the auction was an assortment case of 1985 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, which sold for $41,650, at the high-end of its $35,000-$42,000 pre-sale estimate.

The leading lot and many other strong sales of the auction came from the impressive cellar of a Southern California collector, which featured rare Burgundies and Bordeaux from notable 20th century vintages. Highlights from this collection included a case of 1982 Château Lafite Rothschild, sold for $35,700, exceeding its estimate of $25,000-35,000; seven bottles of 1959 Comte de Vogüé Musigny, Cuvee Vieilles Vignes, sold for $16,660; two separate 12-bottle lots of 1979 Château Pétrus, sold for $13,090 each; and two separate 12-bottle lots of 1982 Château Mouton Rothschild, sold for $11,900 and $11,305, respectively.

Also of note in the sale were highlights from the Collection of the late Margie and Robert E. Petersen. Mr. Petersen was the founder of the Petersen Publishing Company. Highlights from the collection included a rare magnum of 1996 Screaming Eagle Cabernet Sauvignon, sold for $4,760 (est. $4,500-$5,500) and five bottles of 1994 Harlan Estate Cabernet Sauvignon 1994, sold for $4,046 (est. $3,200-4,200).

A vertical collection of Shafer "Hillside Select" Cabernet Sauvignon, comprised of a six-bottle case of each vintage from 1997 to 2007 (66 bottles total, est. $14,000-$19,000), also sold well in the sale, bringing $16,660.

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is without question the most famous estate in Burgundy and arguably the greatest, producing some of the best wines in the world. It is probably one of the most traditional wineries in France. Wines are produced in small quantities while the demand is huge. The domaine has 25 hectares of vineyards, all Grand Crus, including the jewel in the crown, the 1.8 hectare monopole of Romanée Conti.


Romanée-Conti, a vineyard of four and a half acres,was originally the property of the Abbey of St. Vivant. In 1760 Prince Conti acquired it against the competition of a famous collector of jewellery, Madame de Pompadour – the king’s minister against the king’s mistress. He withdrew it from the market and reserved it for his own dazzling social events. It was he who created the myth surrounding Romanée-Conti.


The price of this tiny, treasured vineyard was 80.000 livres, which in those days was worth a small kingdom. Reclaimed as property of the nation during the Revolution, the vineyard passed through the hands of several proprietors to an ancestor of the present owner for 14.000 gold pounds in 1868.


In June 1940 began the journey of 16-year-old André Noblet from estate´s cellar caretaker to chief winemaker. The moment was not exactly favourable for the young man, as in July France was occupied by Germany. This single-minded and intelligent young man wanted to learn as quickly as he could all there was to know about the making of the estate´s wines, and Louis Clin did not spare his efforts, time or knowledge from this eager and gifted youth. As early as 1946 André vinified his first wines under Mr. Clin´s supervision. André Noblet finally took over the whole responsibility for the estate´s wines after the death of Louis Clin.
–We are the keeper of a certain philosophy of wine and, mainly, we are concerned by the perfection in details" assures Aubert de Villaine.


Aubert de Villaine became co-director of the domaine in 1974. His goal at the domaine is to bottle a wine that has had almost no manipulation, but is the result of perfectly balanced, healthy fruit. At the domaine everything is directed at producing great wines which are ideal for keeping. Biodynamics, used over the last ten years, has led to a change in direction under the new leadership of Henry Frédéric-Roch, one of the domaine's co-managers, together with Aubert de Villaine.


 

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Average Bottle Price

2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2005 2000 1995
13 554€ +13.1% 11 985€ +18.8% 10 089€ -0.6% 10 154€ -0.7% 10 230€ +35.2% 7 566€ +40.1% 5 400€ +176.2% 1 955€ +109.5% 933€

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.

Tasting note

color

Full

ending

Long, Smooth and Gentle

flavors

Blackberry, Violet, Toasty and New-oak

nose

Refined

recommend

Yes

taste

Balanced, Harmonious, Ripe and Fresh

Written Notes

1985 was next, and the first of the pair had that good dirty ol’ South action. It was another rich wine, sensing a theme? Someone said, ‘it was too big in the mouth and too aromatic to be La Tache,’ and they were right, even though I guessed La Tache incorrectly again! This 1985 DRC Romanee Conti was delicious and chocolaty, minty and smooth, satiny with nice acid. Someone observed ‘The Finger of God’ (96M).

  • 96p
After one of the coldest January in the history of Burgundy was followed by snowy February. These circumstances ensured the dormancy of the vines further over the spring helping them to avoid the early budding risks of spring frosts. Although flowering was delayed, summer showed up very normal and the growth cycle got started well. One could say that August really made the vintage. Heatwave with constant sunshine and drought concentrated and ripen the grapes extensively and the harvest was able to begin on Romanée-Conti in 1st of September already. Excellent bottle. Decanted three hours. Lovely glowing, light garnet colour. On the nose sound and open aromas of violet, cinnamon and blackberry with toasty, smoky new oak. Has at least 1000 layers of graceful yet superripe fruit, which made harmonious interaction of already quite soft tannin and fresh acidity. Excessive weight, and extends in the mouth. There's remarkable balance between all the elements, followed by one of the longest sweet, silky finish we have ever tasted. This huge and unforgettable Romanée-Conti is already very drinkable, and will easily last through 2030 given suitable cellar conditions.
  • 100p

Information

Origin

Vosne-Romanée, Burgundy

Grapes

100% Pinot Noir

Vintage Quality

Outstanding

Investment potential

Very Good

Fake factory

Be Cautious

Glass time

1h

Drinking temperature

18

Other wines from this producer

Bâtard-Montrachet

Corton Grand Cru

Echézeaux

Grands Echézeaux

La Tâche

Les Gaudichots

Marc

Montrachet

Richebourg

Romanee Saint Vivant

Vosne Romanée

Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Cuvée Duvault Blochet

Inside Information

The Domaine, as it is known, is iconic. Much more important, it also produces the most extraordinary wines in Burgundy - and it has been doing so for a long time. The generations responsible for the Domaine change, but the terroir remains. And these are very special vineyard parcels indeed, married to meticulous care and philosophy leading to low yields and healthy, ripe grapes, at whatever cost. From the 1990s, vineyard policy has been organic, with co-owner Aubert de Villaine monitoring everything with his usual attention to detail. Domaine de la Romanee-Conti wines evolve and develop dimensions in a way that resembles a mosaic - points of bouquet and flavour making up a harmonious whole that becomes more beautiful as it unfolds in the glass. Yes, these are hedonistic wines and yes, they are not like any other. The trick is in capturing what these remarkable plots of vines can give and letting them express themselves through minimum intervention and enlightened nurturing. Serena Sutcliffe, MW

 

Burgundy Book 
Jan 1990
Robert M. Parker, Jr. 100 Drink: 1990 - 2005 $18500
The Romanee-Conti is utterly mind blowing. The heady, intoxicating bouquet delivered penetrating and sublime aromas that were even more intense than those from the La Tache. On the palate, there is a veritable smorgasbord of earthly and heavenly delights. Needless to say, it is very rich, very opulent, and very concentrated. Red burgundy and red wine do not get any better than this. My guess is that it will peak between 1990 and 2005, as it is a bit more forward than either the La Tache or Richebourg.

This fabled estate has had a brilliant track record since 1978. Lalou Bize-Leroy and Aubert de Villaine seem to have everything tightly within their grasps, so it is unlikely that some of the lapses in quality control that occurred previously will resurface. I am sure they still cannot understand why their estate is so frequently singled out for malicious attacks, but no one should have any trouble appreciating the domaine's 1985s, which are their best wines in decades, even surpassing their sensational 1978s. The problem is coming up with the cash to finance them. The wines, aged in 100% new oak, are never filtered.
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Highlights

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Wine Moments

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

96p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Romanée Conti 1985  ( Domaine de la Romanée-Conti )

985 was next, and the first of the pair had that good dirty ol’ South action. It was another rich wine, sensing a theme? Someone said, ‘it was too big in the mouth and too aromatic to be La Tache,’ and they were right, even though I guessed La Tache incorrectly again! This 1985 DRC Romanee Conti was delicious and chocolaty, minty and smooth, satiny with nice acid. Someone observed ‘The Finger of God’ (96M).

9m 1h ago

98p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Romanée Conti 1985  ( Domaine de la Romanée-Conti )

"One of the coldest Januaries in the history of Burgundy was followed by a snowy February. These circumstances ensured the dormancy of the vines helping them to avoid the early budding risks of spring frosts. Although flowering was delayed, summer arrived free of trouble and the growth cycle got started. One could say that August really made the vintage. A heat wave with constant sunshine and drought concentrated and ripened the grapes extensively. The harvest had already begun in Romanée-Conti on the first day of September.
Excellent-looking bottle. Decanted for three hours. Lovely bright garnet colour. The nose reveals sound and open aromas of violet, cinnamon and blackberry with some toasty new oak nuances. This wine has innumerable layers of graceful yet fully ripe fruit, creating a harmonious interaction of already quite soft tannin and fresh acidity. Excessive weight and extension in the mouth. There is a remarkable balance between all the elements, followed by one of the longest sweet, silky finishes we have ever tasted. This unforgettable Romanée-Conti is already very drinkable, and will easily last through 2020 given suitable cellar conditions.

"

1y 8m ago

94p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Romanée Conti 1985  ( Domaine de la Romanée-Conti )

"Decanted for one and a half hours. Light dark colour with a tight orange rim. Amazingly youthful nose with aromas of sweet cherries, violets, leather, and spice. Very expansive and feminine wine with flavours of candied cherries, raspberries and liquorice on the palate. This medium-bodied wine has a good balance between all the elements. A finely tuned red wine of finesse, good structure and medium-long finish. "

1y 10m ago

100p
 Pekka Nuikki / Founder of the Fine Wine Magazines, Pro (Finland)  tasted  Romanée Conti 1985  ( Domaine de la Romanée-Conti )

"After one of the coldest January in the history of Burgundy was followed by snowy February. These circumstances ensured the dormancy of the vines further over the spring helping them to avoid the early budding risks of spring frosts. Although flowering was delayed, summer showed up very normal and the growth cycle got started well. One could say that August really made the vintage. Heatwave with constant sunshine and drought concentrated and ripen the grapes extensively and the harvest was able to begin on Romanée-Conti in 1st of September already.

Excellent bottle. Decanted three hours. Lovely glowing, light garnet colour. On the nose sound and open aromas of violet, cinnamon and blackberry with toasty, smoky new oak. Has at least 1000 layers of graceful yet superripe fruit, which made harmonious interaction of already quite soft tannin and fresh acidity. Excessive weight, and extends in the mouth. There's remarkable balance between all the elements, followed by one of the longest sweet, silky finish we have ever tasted.
This huge and unforgettable Romanée-Conti is already very drinkable, and will easily last through 2030 given suitable cellar conditions.
"

1y 10m ago

97p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Romanée Conti 1985  ( Domaine de la Romanée-Conti )

"There was a bit of cobweb to the nose at first, but once it opened up, it got a 'six stars' from Big Boy and a 'not even fair' from Robert Bohr. Its nose was earthy, musky and meaty, bordering on seepy. I found it also a bit dirty but in a 'xxx' way. The palate had extraordinary concentration as only RC does; so rich, long, briny, earthy and meaty with a syrup-like concentration. The last two wines reminded me about Allen Meadows' keen observation about the difference between La Tache and Romanee Conti, how 'La Tache goes to you while you must go to RC.' I enjoyed the 1983 LT better on this night but would clearly take the 1985 RC long term "

1y 11m ago

98p
 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  Romanée Conti 1985  ( Domaine de la Romanée-Conti )

"There weren’t many places to go in a flight of this caliber, but Big Mike found a way with a magnum of 1985 DRC Romanee Conti. The Cardinale and The Artist quickly hailed the ’85 as their favorite in the flight, and even though I usually prefer the ‘71s to the ‘85s when it comes to my DRCs, this was an exception, and an exceptional magnum. Its nose was wild and even more open than the ‘71, and Mr. Cashflow noted its ‘cherry.’ Menthol and animal joined the party in this sweaty red, which had sweet and nutty fruit. Its palate was thick, tender and long, a monumental wine that was rich and zippy. This was the ‘sharpest of the three’ according to one, and its vigor pulled it ahead of the ‘71s by a nose, so to speak (98+M)."

4y 5m ago

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