Aromatic, complex and with quite some nerve and muscle. Toned, driving flavours of, raspberry, loganberry and cherry fruits, touches of damson. Racy, gripping and taut, there is great force to this and precision, the finish is very long and refreshing.
In 1996 Alberic Bichot became the 6th generation to take over the management of this historic Burgundian house. Bichot have always had impressive vineyard holdings and been one of the most important negociants in the region but the wines were all too often disappointing. Alberic’s mission was to transform the estate’s quality and reputation. One of his first moves was to bring in Alain Serveau as chief winemaker. Vitally both of Bichot’s Cote d’Or domaines, Clos Frantin in the Cotes de Nuits and Domaine du Pavillon in the Cote de Beaune, have their own vineyard and winemaking teams as well as their own wineries and cellars with Alain overseeing the whole production. When asked at a tasting of the fine 2014s what the most essential changes have been during his near twenty year reign, Alain pinpointed a lowering of yields and increased flexibility, ie adapting to each plot and vintage rather a systematic approach. Well the wines have improved immeasurably, the last three vintages in particular have been excellent for the Domaine wines, to the point that we could finally not resist the beautiful 2014s. By and large the grapes are de-stalked, undergo a long slow and gentle cuvaison of up to thirty days and then age in barriques for between 14-18 months depending on the wine and vintage. New oak is far from excessive, going up to a mximum of 60-70% for the top Grand Crus.
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.