DOMAINE DE LA ROMANEE CONTI

DOMAINE DE LA ROMANEE CONTI

VOSNE-ROMANEE
Owner:
De Villaine and Leroy Families
Manager:
Aubert de Villaine & Henry-Frédéric Roch
Website
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti covers 29 hectares of vines, principally in the grand cru vineyards of the Côte de Nuits and the Côte de Beaune. This is without doubt the most mythical wine estate in the world. Parsimonious yields and the exceptional quality of the wines, which live up to the legend, justify its reputation.
DOMAINE DE LA ROMANEE CONTI

Unlike all the other great Burgundy estates, Romanée-Conti’s strategy has always been to focus on a small number of Grand Cru vineyards, for the most part situated around the village of Vosne-Romanée. The one exception to this rule is a few rows of Montrachet, on the Côte de Beaune. The historic heart of the estate is the Romanée-Conti vineyard, which passed through the hands of several owners after the French Révolution, including those of the Duvault-Blochet family, who also acquired several other parcels, notably Echézeaux, Richebourg and La Tâche. Between 1933 and 1988 the estate expanded, principally by the acquisition of vines in the Romanée Saint-Vivant and Montrachet vineyards.
Since 1942 it has been co-owned by two families, the De Villaine and the Leroy, and today it is run jointly by Aubert de Villaine and Henry-Frédéric Roch. The estate has the monopoly of two Grands Crus, Romanée-Conti (1.8 hectares) and La Tâche (6 hectares); and almost half of three other Grands Crus, Richebourg, Grands Echézeaux and Echézeaux; as well as 2/3rds of Romanée-Saint Vivant. The only exception from Vosne-Romanée is a small amount of Montrachet on the Côte de Beaune. Since 2009, there is another exception: “Le Corton”, in Aloxe Corton, made by the Domaine de la Romanée Conti as a result of a lease taken out in 2008 from Domaine Prince Florent de Mérode, family friends of the De Villaines and Rochs.

The philosophy of the Domaine’s current managers hinges on respect of the soils and their equilibrium, and they see their role as wine-makers as being simply to translate with the greatest possible fidelity the soils’ incomparable qualities. Great pains are therefore taken in the cultivation of the vines, which are aged on average forty years. The yields are amongst the lowest in Burgundy (20 to 30 hectolitres at most per hectare, as opposed to the 42 hectolitres permitted by law in Grand Cru vineyards). The vines (clones of Pinot Noir, the great " translator " of these soils) are of very high quality thanks to very rigorous massal and clonal selection. Tradition would have it that the Domaine harvests as late as possible, with all the risks that that incurs, to obtain perfectly ripe raw material; after which, vinification is perfectly traditional, and is carried out in wooden or stainless-steel vats. All the Domaine wines are then matured in new casks, which are changed every year.

The wines are the greatest in Burgundy, amazingly rich and smooth, with great aging potential. It is difficult to classify these exceptional growths, of which Aubert de Villaine says "Richebourg is certainly the most sensual of the three; La Tâche is the wine of the soul par excellence; but la Romanée-Conti combines both soul and sensuality".