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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.
Bourgogne 2022: A generous and promising vintage
The 2022 vintage encapsulates what Bourgogne does best: Generosity and promise! After three years of quality without quantity, with yields impacted by weather events, it is certainly welcome, taking some of the pressure off sales and allowing stocks to be built back up. Despite some small disparities depending on the varietal, the vines stood up pretty well to some rather extreme weather and were able to take advantage of the slightest rainfall. As the wines begin the ageing process in cellars stacked up to three barrels high, winemakers and négociants are happy because the 2022 vintage is certain to seduce the palates of wine lovers around the world!
The weather this year was once again extreme, with frost, heatwaves, and drought. Budburst was later than in recent years, which helped protect the vines from April frost. Then, it was the subtle balance between vine and terroir that we can thank for the fact that despite this year's harvest being deprived of water and subjected to four separate heatwaves, it came through unscathed. This balance can be perceived in the musts which, by all accounts, have good degrees of potential alcohol. The wines are revealing quality, with nice concentration and fine balance. And it's a surprising vintage because although the weather was very hot, the wines are vivacious and offer aromas of fresh fruit; the promise of good things to come.
The whites are rounded, smooth, and complex. They are rich and very expressive, with fruity aromas. They are present without being overbearing. In the mouth, notes of fresh fruit and beautiful balance preserve the freshness.
The reds are just embarking on the ageing process, and are showing lovely color, smoothness on the tongue, and good concentration. The structure is carried by soft tannins with a roundness coupled with a lovely density. They offer indulgent aromas of ripe red and black fruit.