Domaine de la Romanée-Conti

One of the great Burgundian Domaines, based in Vosne-Romanée, owned jointly by the de Villaine and Leroy families, producing Grand Cru wines only: Le Montrachet, the monopoles Romanée-Conti and La Tâche, Richebourg, Romanée-St-Vivant, Échézeaux, and Grands Échézeaux. Its jewel in the crown, La Romanée-Conti, was identified as far back as the early 16th century by the monks of St-Vivant and was later sold as a vineyard called Le Cros de Cloux. By the 17th century it was known as La Romanée and stayed in the same family for four generations until it was sold to the Prince de Conti in 1760. It later became known as La Romanée-Conti but after it had been taken from the Prince during the revolution and sold on in 1794. By 1911 the de Villaine family had become heirs to this great vineyard, after which they name the Domaine. Romanée-Conti was bought by a Julien Ouvard in 1819 and sold by his heirs to Jacques-Marie Duvault-Blochet 50 years later. Duvault-Blochet's eventual heirs were the de Villaine family. In 1911, Edmond Guidon de Villaine became director of what was now known as the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, a half share was subsequently sold to friend Henri Leroy in 1942, who provided the finance to help further establish the estate as one of Burgundy’s great domaines. His negociant business, Société Leroy, was granted the distribution rights to the wines. In 1975, Henri’s daughter Lalou-Bize Leroy and Henri de Villaine's son, Aubert, were appointed co-directors of this most famous estate, each representing the interests of their respective families. In 1988 Lalou set up her own estate, Domaine Leroy, and in 1993 left Domaine de la Romanée-Conti as co-director.
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti

Appellation: Vosne-Romanée

A commune in the Côte de Nuits that is home to some of Burgundy's and the world's finest examples of Pinot Noir. Vosne-Romanée villages, an appellation that encompasses the villages wines of neighbouring commune Flagey-Échézeaux, can be very good value. In addition to these there some excellent Premiers Crus vineyards and six Grands Crus, three of which share the name Romanée, the suffix to which Vosne was hyphenated in 1866. Right accross the appellation from village to Grand Cru the wines share a very distinctive combination of richness and silkiness that Vosne-Romanée has so successfully built its reputation on.

The Grands Crus are Romanée-Conti, La Romanée, La Tâche, Richebourg, Romanée-St-Vivant, and La Grande Rue. Between them they produce, with Musigny and Chambertin, the greatest wines of the Côte de Nuits. They have more finesse than any other but nonetheless show as much power and intensity as their nearest rivals. The Premiers Crus wines can be world class, too, amongst the best of them being, Aux Malconsorts, next door to La Tâche, Clos des Réas, Cros Parantoux made famous by Henri Jayer which lies above Grands Crus, Aux Brûlées of which a fine example is made by Méo-Camuzet, and Les Beauxmonts and Les Suchots next door to Flagey-Échézeaux.

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is and has been one of the great names that dominates the commune, however the late Henri Jayer must surely rival if not surpass them in terms of influence and reputation. Apart from making some of the most startling examples of Vosne and Échézeaux, Henri influenced a whole generation of great young wine-growers who are now doing extremely well. The village's other great Domaines are Domaine du Comte-Liger Belair, Domaine Leroy, that includes part of the former Domaine Nöellat, Anne Gros, Jean Grivot, Méo-Camuzet, Sylvain Cathiard and the recently revived Domaine François Lamarche.

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