Decanter – 91
Good colour. Ample, round, ripe nose. Gingerbread touches. Medium-full body. Good vigour and backbone. Good depth. Harmonious, long, stylish and complex. Fine.
Jasper Morris – 94
Medium depth of colour, some inbuilt reduction along with relatively youthful red fruit. Some stems in the back ground, moderate ripeness. An attractive perfume develops in the glass though. A little sweet fruit at first but pulled back by the minimal ripeness. Still an extremely pleasing wine on the palate, and scores very well for persistence. But it is not clear that 2007 lends itself well to the whole bunch approach.
Robert Parker – 90
The Domaine’s 2007 Echezeaux displays ripe red berry and star anise aromas; a tender fruit character, mingled with a hint of mocha and underlain by subtly saline meat stock on a silken palate, and a finish that preserves just enough of a fresh edge to its fruit to stimulate salivation and the desire for the next sip. Here is a 2007 that remains true to the personality it expressed early on in barrel, albeit with flattering textural refinement and a greater sense of purity. It’s small scale, but only in the non-derogatory sense of chamber music (two words I used to describe it and, amusingly, later heard from de Villaine). I imagine this charmer being best enjoyed over the next 5-7 years. Domaine de La Romanee-Conti director Aubert de Villaine perceives both the estate’s 2008 and 2007 collections as vins de garde, and I can’t argue with that assessment, even though when I first tasted the 2007s ” soon after they had come out of malo ” I harbored reservations, wondering whether to interpret de Villaine’s description of them as â€œetherealâ€ to read â€œephemeral.â€ He says holding back the usual 5% share of production for the Domaine’s own cellar was difficult in the greatly reduced 2008 vintage, and that he is already regretting not having arranged to bottle a larger share in magnum. He still had time when I visited in April to reconsider the bottle format for three appellations, which were the only ones I was able to taste, since De Villaine is loathe to show wines in the first 9-12 months after bottling. (I’ll report on the full 2008 collection from bottle at a later date.) If the 2007s here were unusual for that vintage in the degree to which they gained stature in the course of elevage, such behavior was normal when it came to 2008, so that I was not surprised to hear de Villaine remark on a new-found degree of confidence in the stature of that collection. To an even greater degree than in most vintages, success in 2007 and 2008 came down to meticulousness at every stage; to quality of vine material; and to location, in all of which respects no estate in Burgundy has any advantage over the Domaine de La Romanee-Conti. Interestingly, the estate lingered no longer over the picking of their 2008s ” from the first of the La Tache on September 27 to the last of the Echezeaux on October 6 ” than they had over the 2007s, which were picked from September 1-11. The inclusion of stems was lowered to less than half in 2007, incidentally, but in 2008 was typically closer to three-quarters. Vendange entier is a technique not only time-honored and in continuous use at the Domaine de La Romanee-Conti (even when it fell out of favor at most Burgundy estates in the waning 20th century), but one which de Villaine and cellarmaster Bernard Noblet have subjected to repeated testing, so as to establish in any given vintage the right balance between 100% de-stemmed (â€œwhich lacks something by way of complexity,â€ says de Villaine) and 100% (â€œwhich can be too marked by the stems,â€ he continues). Importer: Wilson-Daniels, St. Helena, CA; tel. (707) 963-9661
Anticipated maturity: 2010-2017
Burghound – 90
A spicy, expressive and expansive nose of red berry fruit, distinct vegetal nuances, freshly sliced fennel and obvious earth notes that transfer over to the detailed, balanced and energetic flavors that possess excellent transparency on the vibrant and mouth coating finish. There is a lingering inner mouth perfume here that makes this quite seductive. Not surprisingly, this changed rather dramatically in the hour that I had to evaluate the ’07s and the seemingly lighter weight flavors put on noticeable flesh though the nose slowly closed in on itself. (Drink starting 2017)
Vinous – 90
Medium red. Very ripe, perfumed nose shows a liqueur-like cherry quality. Sweet and lush but nicely delineated, with surprising energy to the flavors of red berries, pepper and spices. Finishes long and perfumed, with building tannins and lovely red fruit persistence.
JancisRobinson.com – 18.0
Much darker than most 2007s. Dense and rich and definitely very different from all the rest. Very, very pure and linear and not that fleshy but very, very pure. Fine tannins. Very interesting to see DRC x 07. Works well, so pure! Great freshness.. More seductive at the moment.
Anticipated maturity: 2014-2026