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98-100 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate / The 2012 La Romanee Grand Cru is the jewel in the crown and I must confess to spending an evening with friends discussing how we could organize a La Romanee/Romanee-Conti comparative vertical. It will happen one day. Lying just above Romanee-Conti and just below Aux Reignots, this 0.85-hectare vineyard has rapidly become the Holy Grail for many and I have been lucky enough to taste every vintage since its “re-birth” just over ten year ago, when the contract with Bouchard came to an end. The newest release has an entrancing bouquet with a sense of delineation and poise the will rivet you to the spot: utterly beguiling scents of small dark cherries, wild strawberry and minerals that are perfectly placed by Bacchus himself. Give it a few minutes in the glass and it reveals gorgeous ripe mango and even marmalade scents to add a little exoticism. The palate is medium-bodied with an intense, penetrating opening of citrus infused, dark berry fruit struck through with life-affirming mineralite and tension. There is huge presence rather than weight in the mouth with enormous persistency on the finish. This is a profound expression of the vintage. (NM) (12/2013)
98 points Vinous
All the signatures of site are amped up in Liger-Belair's 2012 La Romanée. Intense ripe fruit and a huge core of pure structure meld together in a rich, exuberant wine that captivates both hedonistic and intellectual senses. Beams of supporting minerality on the finish rein in some of the exuberant elements, resulting in a captivating push and pull of fruit and structure. The 2012 needs a good decade-plus of cellaring, but it is magnificent, even today. (AG) (4/2015)
96 points Allen Meadows - Burghound
An attractively cool, ultra-pure and restrained nose combines red berry fruit liqueur with a spectacular array of spice and floral elements. There is excellent richness to the equally cool mineral-tinged and seductively textured middle weight flavors that possess a really lovely sense of underlying tension on the clean and pure finish that delivers strikingly good length. 2012 is not an opulent vintage for this wine, in fact it's almost delicate but the gorgeous balance and mid-palate concentration should ensure a very long life plus it's hands down the most complex wine in the range. In short, this Zen-like effort should one day be a truly stunning wine. (1/2015)
Very dark crimson. Mid to dark crimson though not right out to the rim. Very intense and rich – a massive step up from Échezeaux. Sumptuous and rich and purple fruited with great balance. Gorgeous already! But with so much going on it would be a great shame to drink it this decade. Very lively too. 18.5/20 points. (12/2013)
La Romanée's tiny 0.84ha, under half the size of its neighbour La Romanée-Conti, make it the smallest Appellation Controlée in France. A monopoly of the Liger Belair family since the 1830s, La Romanée is just above La Romanée-Conti and therefore has a slightly steeper slope and shallower soil. Since 2002 the wine has been made by Vicomte Louis Michel Liger-Belair who heads up the Domaine du Comte Liger Belair estate, turning La Romanée into one of the truely great Burgundies it always had the potential to be. Though closed and reserved in its youth, the wine habitually displays an elegance and haunting brilliance, and after a minimum of 7-10 year's bottle age blossoms into one of the very best red wines in Burgundy, if not the world. Approximately 300 cases are made each year.
Louis-Michel Liger-Belair’s wines keep getting better. The improvement is less a reflection of the underlying vintages and more the result of the work the estate has done to convert their vineyards to biodynamic farming. These are some of the most unique and compelling wines being made anywhere in Burgundy. The house style emphasizes the weightless transparency, finesse and sweetness that only Pinot Noir (and perhaps Nebbiolo) is capable of. As good as the 2010s are, the 2009s have also turned out beautifully. I will report on those wines in the April issue. Readers may also want to check out my video interview with Louis-Michel Liger-Belair posted on www.erobertparker.com for more historical perspective on the domaine.
La Romanée, Grand Cru: Grand Cru climat in Vosne-Romanée is the smallest Grand Cru in the Côte-d’Or and the smallest appellation contrôlée in France. Arguably one of the finest vineyards in France, the poet Gaston Roupnel extolled La Romanée as “La perle du milieu dans le collier bourguignon“ (loosely, “the central jewel of the Burgundian necklace”). It lies just to the west and uphill from La Romanée-Conti, to the south of Les Richebourgs and to the north of La Grande Rue.
It was originally a part of La Romanée-Conti, belonging to the Croonenbourg family from the Fifteenth Century until it was partitioned off in 1760 and sold to the Prince de Conti. A monopole, La Romanée has belonged to the Liger-Belair family since 1815. It was the only major vineyard retained by the family when the remainder of its holdings were auctioned off in the 1930’s. Facing east, the vineyard lies on a steep 16% slope at an elevation of about 280 meters. The subsoil is friable Prémeaux limestone; the topsoil is a sandy-clay mixed with pebbles. Under the skilled and sensitive direction of Louis-Michel Liger-Belair, the wines of La Romanée are said once again to rival in quality the iconic vineyards, La Tâche, and La Romanée-Conti.
2012 was beset by unusual weather that didn’t spare the vines! A mild winter, spring-like March, cool spring with frosts, summer-like May, cooler, wetter June, a variable summer with heatwaves, hail and storms… Because of the cold damp spring, some of the vine flowers didn’t set and form fruit, there was millerandage (where the flowers aren’t fully fertilised and give small berries) and high pressure from mildew and odium. Temperatures went right up during the short periods, over-heating and scorching the berries. This weather caused a significant fall in yields, without, however, impacting on the quality of the grapes, as well spread out bunches with small berries guarantee concentration and intensity.
All in all, the grapes achieved good ripeness in aromas and good sugar to acidity balance. The white wines are characterised by their finesse and concentration. The reds set themselves apart with their lovely colours, ripe and silky tannins and their harmonious mouthfeel