Exquisitely balanced and elegant, less voluptuous and immediate than either Brulées or Reignots but so ultra-refined as well as showing great dynamism and focus; very, very long and refreshing flavours of silky ripe red berry fruits, touches of sloe, Alpine strawberry and juicy red cherry, jaw-droppingly beautiful.
Etienne Grivot succeeded his father, Jean, in 1987, and today presides over 15 hectares of vines spread accross Nuits, Vosne, Vougeot and Echézeaux. This is one of the modern-day, benchmark Burgundian domaines. The estate’s densely-planted old vines (the average age is 40 years old) produce naturally-low yields and, together with Etienne’s organic approach to viticulture and sensible winemaking, result in vivid, pure, very well-balanced Burgundies. The wines are much more softly extracted than when Etienne first started, the winemaking is incredibly flexible, depending on the vintage, but usually only 5% of stalks are retained, and rarely more than a third of the barrels are new. A reference point for good Burgundy.
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.