Best of the Best 2011: International Red Wines: Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 2007 La Tâche

  • Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 2007 La Tâche
  • Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 2007 La Tâche
  • Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 2007 La Tâche
  • Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 2007 La Tâche
  • Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 2007 La Tâche
  • Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 2007 La Tâche

    Though Burgundy’s most fabled producer holds property in seven different grand cru vineyards, the domaine’s identity is inextricably intertwined in the minds of admirers with the 4.5 acres of earth from which it takes its name, Romanée-Conti. In the 13th century, this walled plot near Vosne-Romanée belonged to the Benedictine monks of the Abbey of Saint-Vivant, but in the 17th century, the vineyard came into the possession of the de Croonembourg family, who, in 1760, were the beneficiaries of the rivalry between Louis XV’s mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour, and the Prince de Conti, both of whom vied for the property when André de Croonembourg offered it for sale. The prince, who placed the winning bid, reserved the vineyard’s entire production for his own private delectation—a whim that contributed greatly to the reputation of another grand cru vineyard in Vosne-Romanée, La Tâche. With the entire output of Romanée-Conti diverted to quench the royal thirst, the wines of La Tâche became the finest acquirable reds from the region. In fact, the two grand crus’ histories present a number of interesting parallels: Both were owned by the Abbey of Saint-Vivant; both were purchased by the de Croonembourgs in 1631 and sold by the family in 1760; and both ultimately became monopoles (vineyards owned by a single producer) belonging to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.

    Though its sister monopole enjoys a royal connection and a regal price (on release, the 2007 vintage cost from $2,875 to $3,430 per bottle), La Tâche possesses a musical and mesmerizing personality that delights the senses with its dexterous shifts of mood and fluid, rhythmic flavors. This jazzlike spirit suffuses the 2007 vintage (priced on release from $875 to $1,040 per bottle), which displays remarkably balanced tannins and acidity. This splendid, fleshy Pinot Noir is perfumed with scents of rose and violets, and its flavor profile shifts from vibrant red fruit—raspberry, strawberry, and pomegranate—to more savory essences of grilled bread and licorice.

     

    Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, www.wilsondaniels.com

    Photo by Mark French
    Hanyu Ichiro’s Card Series is a full deck of single malts from a famous but shuttered distillery…
    This delectable pinot from Central California has a touch of sweetness and an acidic finish…
    The world’s longest-serving malt master has masterfully combined some of the Balvenie’s top stocks…
    A blend of 26-year-old Scotch whisky from two bygone distilleries keeps their legacy alive…
    Fifth-generation winemaker Joseph Wagner crafts a Burgundian beauty from three California counties…
    Fight through the bourbon shortage with these overproof whiskeys…
    Even though the spirit contains tequilas up to 49 months old, it is completely translucent…
    The whiskey was aged for 17 years in three different environments…
    The new Scotch comes from one of Scotland’s oldest and smallest distilleries…
    Photo by Thomas M. Barwick INC
    “If I pour you a glass of Merlot, I guarantee that before you pick up the glass you’re tasting...