Being in the privileged position of working for the UK agents it is one of the annual highlights to get to taste the Domaines wines on release at the trade and press tasting each year. I have never missed the tasting in my time at C&B and started with the 1997's only about 2 months after joining. The wines always show well on release, you would think it would be nerve racking to show wines that have this incredibly lofty reputation but actually as long as we get the temperature right, "cool" then the wines look after themselves. Below are my personal thoughts on the wines from one quick tasting. This year was especially interesting as we had drunk several older vintages of Romanee Saint Vivant and Richebourg the night before (written up in the entry before this one).
Given the title of this blog and the name I go by on twitter it was a shame not to taste the Vosne Romanee 1er Cru "Duvault Blochet" - there was one in 2008 to follow on from 1999, 2002, 2004(only released in France) & 2006. Prior to this it was made once in the 20's and once in the 30's. It is essentially declassified Grand Cru fruit that the Domaine feels more that merits the 1er Cru label. Otherwise, everything the Domaine release is Grand Cru...
Echezeaux - This had almost the perfect pure "Pinot" nose, very red fruits, feminine and just so inviting, as impressive as I can ever remember the Echezeaux...really great. Very long too.
Grands Echezeaux - A step up in structure and also complexity, not as pure as the Echezeaux to my mind a dash of black fruit to add to the red of Echezeaux. A more spicey and savoury edge there too. Good length, will be fascinating to see how this ages compared to the Echezeaux.
Richebourg - Very interesting compared to the previous nights vintages. Fruit a shade darker more density, bigger shoulders than those that went before it but possibly not as much as usual, almost a touch of green pepper and graphite.
Romanee Saint Vivant - My notes say a little like a bigger Grands Echezeaux, this is true in profile but there was also a purity fruit that reminded me of the Echezeaux. Stunningly complete. Real finesse as has become more and more evident in recent years.
La Tache - Often the star of the show (comparatively), deep darker, more textured than the Romanee Saint Vivant. Spicey and almost an edge of tar too. A little of all those before it but with more depth...very, very impressive and very La Tache...classical.
Romanee Conti - Obviously impressive, amazingly complex nose giving away more than it sometimes does at this stage, a nice earthy edge, fruit character is not really categorizable as red or black, Amazingly length.
And so that was that, except that a very nice (and lucky) practice has started whereby we take Aubert (de Villaine) for a brief lunch afterwards, at The Don this year, and open...
Le Montrachet - as always a nose and colour that would never let you believe its youth, an almost impossibly rich nose that somehow manages to be both rich and fresh, dense and light, it sounds trite (and biased) but there really is no better white wine in the world - that I have had - the empty glass was almost impossible to let go as the aromas just go round and round. With no wine left it is a butterscotch glass but so much else before that...where does the 2008 "rate" amongst the vintages I have had from Le Montrachet - 2003, 2005, 2006 & 2007? I would say along with 2007 at the very top.
So with this tasting done and the previous nights dinner it had been the most immensely pleasurable and fun 24hrs of the Domaines wines...never to be forgotten.