TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

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TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#1 Post by Alex Valdes »

After tasting the 18s, we sat for a wonderful dinner featuring a selection of wines from the Domaine. Eric Ripert and his team expertly executed a delicious meal to accompany these great wines.


Langoustine Course
  • 1997 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet (En Jeroboam)
    The best Montrachet I've had from the Domaine. The bit of flint on the nose and on the front of the palate gave the wine the sense of a seared edged croissant: all of the goodness of the char with all of the richness immediately following. Incredibly delicious. So glad I had two glasses! (98 pts.)
  • 2011 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet
    This was the back-up to the 97 Jero so it had extremely stiff competition. On its own, this is a great wine. Developing nicely 10 years in. Feels like it is in a bit of a transition where the richer flavors are giving way now to some of the undertones of the wood. Will be good to try again in 10 years. (94 pts.)
Braised Short Rib Ravioli Course
  • 2011 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Echezeaux
    In all, I found it a bit pedestrian. Generally nice aromatics, good balance, obviously well made. There was no lack of joy in this glass but I didn't find it as expressive as some of the wines next to it. That said, I enjoyed it much more than almost every other 2011 red burg I've had. It was not weak at all and its whole cluster character gave it substance that I found pleasing. Perhaps a little unfair to rate this among so many other incredible wines from the Domaine, but, in a way, this is the best type of comparison to truly size the character of the wine. (92 pts.)
  • 2009 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée St. Vivant
    A lovely bite. The aromatics I've come to expect. A little green on the edges but very enjoyable. Sitting next to the 2011 Ech, this wine fluttered a bit more in the mouth, dancing on top of the tongue rather than penetrating the palate. (94 pts.)
Black Bass with Wild Mushroom Stuffed Cabbage
  • 1990 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Richebourg
    Incredible. The flavors were mature and inviting. The spices give the wine a dimensionality and pop that was unrivaled on the night. All of this great flavor did not detract from the texture or length. WOTN (among a ton of great contenders) (99 pts.)
  • 1999 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Grands-Echezeaux
    Not much to add relative to other reviewers notes. This is really bright with yummy fruit jumping from the glass. Following two more acidic, floral wines like the 2011 Ech and the 2009 RSV, this was an inviting elevation in boldness. Next to the 90 Rich, it was outclassed but, in 20-30 years or so, I could imagine this wine doing very very well again the best of them. (94 pts.)
Hiramasa Course
  • 2000 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche
    I know this isn't a vaunted vintage, but this was not only great on the night but it outshined the 2001. Tonight, the vosne spices, the acidity, and the fruit core combined for the most complete wine on the evening. If what came out of the bottle tonight is any indication of what other bottles can deliver, I would seriously consider over 1999, 2001, or 2002. (97 pts.)
  • 2001 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche
    Classic La Tache flavors with a good combination of grace and power. That said, on the night, the 2000 was better (which is a bit of a shock). In comparison, some of what was missing from the 2001 comes into focus, specifically the various notes which needed to come together in perfect harmony were just a slight bit off. This might be just bottle variation, but at the level this wine wants to play it was outdone by its 2000 brother. (95 pts.)
Truffled Squab Course
  • 1996 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Conti
    In a way, I don't know how to rate this wine. For me, RC is usually subtle and contemplative. Our host, when discussing the food pairing, confessed his struggles ever pairing this wine appropriately and I think there is something to that. So, unlike all the other wines I tasted along side this one, I am not doing a relative comparison. This wine is beautiful and long. It carries a lot with ease and leaves you beguiled. I know 96 is a worrisome vintage, but I think this wine is wonderfully expressive and inviting. It does not have any of the reticent character often associated with 1996. (98 pts.)
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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#2 Post by Andrew K. »

Well done, Alex.
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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#3 Post by Rodrigo B »

I was already astounded (and a whole lot jealous) of your part 1 tasting. Then you go ahead and post this. Awesome lineup and great notes. Sounds like a fantastic experience. Kudos. Thanks for sharing [cheers.gif]
Last edited by Rodrigo B on May 1st, 2021, 7:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#4 Post by Alex Valdes »

Rodrigo B wrote: April 30th, 2021, 9:12 pm I was already astounded (and a whole lot jealus) of your part 1 tasting. Then you go ahead and post this. Awesome lineup and great notes. Sounds like a fantastic experience. Kudos. Thanks for sharing [cheers.gif]
It was very special, especially since it was my first wine dinner since La Paulee 2020 (and I’m pretty sure I’ve consumed about as many bottles in the last 13 months as were opened last night). Hopefully this is the sign of more to come!

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#5 Post by Rodrigo B »

Alex Valdes wrote: April 30th, 2021, 9:22 pm
Rodrigo B wrote: April 30th, 2021, 9:12 pm I was already astounded (and a whole lot jealus) of your part 1 tasting. Then you go ahead and post this. Awesome lineup and great notes. Sounds like a fantastic experience. Kudos. Thanks for sharing [cheers.gif]
It was very special, especially since it was my first wine dinner since La Paulee 2020 (and I’m pretty sure I’ve consumed about as many bottles in the last 13 months as were opened last night). Hopefully this is the sign of more to come!
Sounds like it. When the first wine in the lineup is an aged DRC Monty in Jeroboam, you know you're in for one hell of an experience.
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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#6 Post by Rauno E (NZ) »

I can’t wait for parts 3 and 4 ;)! Thanks again, excellent notes, really give me a sense for what you tasted and thought.
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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#7 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

Excellent notes!

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#8 Post by Alex Valdes »

Rauno E (NZ) wrote: May 1st, 2021, 12:42 am I can’t wait for parts 3 and 4 ;)! Thanks again, excellent notes, really give me a sense for what you tasted and thought.
Ha! Me too!

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#9 Post by Alex Valdes »

Here is the whole lineup :)
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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#10 Post by Peter Chiu »

Alex.....if you will be the host and plan to serve a bottle of RC from your cellar in the next DRC event, and if you wish to show that the RC is worth the priced, I suggest the following food pair : boil potato from from Newfoundland - no butter please.

Wonderful TNs - merci.

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#11 Post by Jim Clary »

Wow! Awesome event. I can only hope one day to attend something similar. Thank you for sharing.
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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#12 Post by Alex Valdes »

Peter Chiu wrote: May 1st, 2021, 7:11 am Alex.....if you will be the host and plan to serve a bottle of RC from your cellar in the next DRC event, and if you wish to show that the RC is worth the priced, I suggest the following food pair : boil potato from from Newfoundland - no butter please.

Wonderful TNs - merci.
Appreciate it Peter. Unfortunately, I am allergic to potatoes. I think some bread and butter would do nicely as a replacement.

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#13 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

I had 00 RC with a relatively simple dish of chicken oysters and Masutake mushrooms which was delicious.

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#14 Post by alan weinberg »

spectacular. I can still vividly recall a 1990 DRC dinner I attended in 1993 at the home of Dennis Overstreet. I almost canceled since it was a rare rainy LA day and my Corvette skidded all over on wet streets. Dinner was in the Hollywood Hills. He had hired a recently unemployed chef to cook an amazing meal. Wines were awesome, and there were just 16 of us attending, but the chef was cool so I stood next to him in the kitchen and just talked. He showed me a few tricks. He had just been let go from Checkers and was planning to open a Napa restaurant. His name was Thomas Keller. Almost outshined the wines.

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#15 Post by Alex Valdes »

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: May 1st, 2021, 9:27 am I had 00 RC with a relatively simple dish of chicken oysters and Masutake mushrooms which was delicious.
Last year I was at a dinner with Aubert and we had the 2000 and 2001 RC served with a a fairly substantial course (Duck confit with caramelized cippolini onions and foie gras au jus). For me, that pairing a bit overwhelming and preferred, instead, to enjoy them a bit more on their own. I found giving the wine space and attention allowed me to spend more time enjoying the length and simplicity of the wine (at the time, I too preferred the 2000 over the 2001 though, unlike the La Tache from a couple nights ago, I found the differences between the RCs much less obvious)

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#16 Post by Nicos Neocleous »

alan weinberg wrote: May 1st, 2021, 9:31 am spectacular. I can still vividly recall a 1990 DRC dinner I attended in 1993 at the home of Dennis Overstreet. I almost canceled since it was a rare rainy LA day and my Corvette skidded all over on wet streets. Dinner was in the Hollywood Hills. He had hired a recently unemployed chef to cook an amazing meal. Wines were awesome, and there were just 16 of us attending, but the chef was cool so I stood next to him in the kitchen and just talked. He showed me a few tricks. He had just been let go from Checkers and was planning to open a Napa restaurant. His name was Thomas Keller. Almost outshined the wines.
Now THIS is a super cool story! Alan, thank you for sharing!
Instagram: grapeexplorer

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#17 Post by Alex Valdes »

alan weinberg wrote: May 1st, 2021, 9:31 am spectacular. I can still vividly recall a 1990 DRC dinner I attended in 1993 at the home of Dennis Overstreet. I almost canceled since it was a rare rainy LA day and my Corvette skidded all over on wet streets. Dinner was in the Hollywood Hills. He had hired a recently unemployed chef to cook an amazing meal. Wines were awesome, and there were just 16 of us attending, but the chef was cool so I stood next to him in the kitchen and just talked. He showed me a few tricks. He had just been let go from Checkers and was planning to open a Napa restaurant. His name was Thomas Keller. Almost outshined the wines.
I love this story. Incredible what a moment means in context of what happens after it

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#18 Post by Peter Chiu »

Alex Valdes wrote: May 1st, 2021, 9:36 am
Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: May 1st, 2021, 9:27 am I had 00 RC with a relatively simple dish of chicken oysters and Masutake mushrooms which was delicious.
Last year I was at a dinner with Aubert and we had the 2000 and 2001 RC served with a a fairly substantial course (Duck confit with caramelized cippolini onions and foie gras au jus). For me, that pairing a bit overwhelming and preferred, instead, to enjoy them a bit more on their own. I found giving the wine space and attention allowed me to spend more time enjoying the length and simplicity of the wine (at the time, I too preferred the 2000 over the 2001 though, unlike the La Tache from a couple nights ago, I found the differences between the RCs much less obvious)
*****at the time, I too preferred the 2000 over the 2001 though, unlike the La Tache from a couple nights ago, I found the differences between the RCs much less obvious)****


Interesting comments regarding your experience between 2000 RC and LT.

Since vintage 1990 I stopped opening RC. I tried it once every year during annual tasting release in mid-1990s ( or when my friend opened it to give face).

My experience with RC and LT from 1982 shaped my future preference to DRC wines and also due the prices between themafter some bottle-age.

The RC normally was more refine ( ...let say more Musigny ) and much *parfame* but definitely needed bottles age. It made you go back and keep on smelling the empty glass and/or empty bottles.

That being said, when the LT was on and behaving, it get more exotic with air, and then keeping on evolving and moving ....and changing. In short...it was more complex in term of the body texture and the aromas. Sadly ...when it was not on ....it stared to shut downed ...after 30 to 45 minutes.

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#19 Post by Alex Valdes »

Peter Chiu wrote: May 1st, 2021, 10:33 am The RC normally was more refine ( ...let say more Musigny ) and much *parfame* but definitely needed bottles age. It made you go back and keep on smelling the empty glass and/or empty bottles.

That being said, when the LT was on and behaving, it get more exotic with air, and then keeping on evolving and moving ....and changing. In short...it was more complex in term of the body texture and the aromas. Sadly ...when it was not on ....it stared to shut downed ...after 30 to 45 minutes.
For me, La Tache is my favorite of the DRC slate, but I also have much more experience with it vs RC so I am sure that factors in. La Tache did not reach some of the highs I know it is capable of and I am still figuring out what the highs can be for RC. On the night I was happy to have Richebourg show so well where for me, in many other settings, Richebourg is often incredible but not a front runner.

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#20 Post by Peter Chiu »

Totally agree....LT is also my favorite of the DRC slate and also Richebourg is the runner-up which is seldom disappointing and very solid in performance with its richness ( which I personally prefer ) and also complexity. No enough RC is form any opinion.

DRC knows and they priced them according ( in the old days ) : In Montreal, Canada there was no need to buy them from the importer and no such thing as allocation. SAQ priced them according to the Domaine normal release prices - for vintage 1995 which was released in the spring of 1999 ( always 4 years later ) : RC at CAD$1695; LT CAD $585; Riche at CAD $388; RStV CAD $323; G-Ech CAD $255 and Ech CAD $155. Riche was at 18 to 20% higher then RStV.

I hope my fried Mr. Johan is reading this thread.....
Last edited by Peter Chiu on May 1st, 2021, 12:37 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#21 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

I think RSV lately has been pretty great.

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#22 Post by Curtis Chen »

alan weinberg wrote: May 1st, 2021, 9:31 am spectacular. I can still vividly recall a 1990 DRC dinner I attended in 1993 at the home of Dennis Overstreet. I almost canceled since it was a rare rainy LA day and my Corvette skidded all over on wet streets. Dinner was in the Hollywood Hills. He had hired a recently unemployed chef to cook an amazing meal. Wines were awesome, and there were just 16 of us attending, but the chef was cool so I stood next to him in the kitchen and just talked. He showed me a few tricks. He had just been let go from Checkers and was planning to open a Napa restaurant. His name was Thomas Keller. Almost outshined the wines.
Jamie Foxx level story telling!

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#23 Post by Alex Valdes »

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: May 1st, 2021, 12:21 pm I think RSV lately has been pretty great.
Agree. At the last dinner I mentioned, the RSVs were the talk of the evening (much like the Richebourg were this time)

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#24 Post by Peter Chiu »

Mich@el Ch@ng wrote: May 1st, 2021, 12:21 pm I think RSV lately has been pretty great.
Michael... I noticed that DRC is pricing the RStV higher than their Riche - most likely you are right as they always price them according to their precised quality.

In the 1990s in Montreal Quebec there was no problem to check it .......by doing comparative wine-matching tasting : Riche vs RStV at an interval of let say : 5, 8,10 and so on. In the good old days the availability were easier here for at least for the first 9 months after the official. I remembered I did not take the offer of 2 mix-case of 12 of DRC from the vintage 1990. I made a mistake for consulting with my wife who objected. Montreal Quebec market was very soft during that period. Here is an example : the official Leroy importer for vintage 1994 to 1996 went bankrupt. In a way I was lucky as I was able to buy some G-crus wines from from Domaine Leroy at reasonable and normal release prices : for example Musigny and Chambertin at CAD $646.75 Riche and RStV at CAD $597.

To cut my story short....could you easily....do that in USA nowadays without going to the secondary market ( or Auction market). I asked because I was away for a quite many years from the market condition about DRC wines.

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#25 Post by Mich@el Ch@ng »

It’s hard to get DRC at UK (C&B) prices. I scrape a little bit together though

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#26 Post by Peter Chiu »

Thanks for the message....

Peter

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#27 Post by Mike Grammer »

Really splendid report, Alex--I love the spectrum of years you reported on as well as the different cuvees. And the menu, mmmmmmm.

Nicos--note my new avatar [grin.gif] Hope you are keeping well, my friend!

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#28 Post by Alex Valdes »

Mike Grammer wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 6:35 am Really splendid report, Alex--I love the spectrum of years you reported on as well as the different cuvees. And the menu, mmmmmmm.

Nicos--note my new avatar [grin.gif] Hope you are keeping well, my friend!

Skal

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The menu was really something. The sauce framing every dish was finger-licking good!

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#29 Post by Peter Chiu »

Here is what Hugh Johnson - said about RC and DRC.

****All the conundrums of wine come to a head at this extraordinary property. It has been accepted for at least three centuries that wine of inimitable style and fascination comes from one four-and-a-half acre patch of hill, and different wine, marginally but consistently less fascinating, from the sites around it. Romanèe-Conti sounds like a super-successful public relations exercise. In some way it is even organized as one. But there is no trick.

One such a small scale, and withl millionaires eager for every drop, it is possible to practice total perfectionism. Without the soil and the site the opportunity would not be there; without the laborious pursuit of perfection it would be lost. A great vineyard like this is largely man-made. The practice in the days of the eighteen-century Prince de Conti, who gave it his name, was to bring fresh loam up from the pastures of the Saone valley in wagon-loads to give new life to the soil. Ironically, today the authorities would forbid so much as a bucketful from outside the appellation. Does this condemn the great vineyard to a gradual decline ?

The co-proprietors of the Domain today are Mme Bize-Leroy and M. Aubert de Villaine, whose home is at Bouzeron near Chagny ( where he makes particular good Aligote ). Their policy is to delay picking until the grapes are consummately ripe, running the gauntlet of the autumn storms and the risk of rot, simply rejecting all the grapes that have succumbed. The proportion of stems put in the vat depends on the season. Fermentation is exceptionally long: from three weeks to even a full month. All the wine is mature in new barrels every year. There is a minimum of racking and filtration. It is indeed, as Mme Bize-Leory says, the grapes that do it.

As the prices of the Domain's wines are so spectacularly high, one expects to find them not only exception in character but in perfect condition. They are essentially wines for very long bottle-ageing. What is surprising in that they often show sign of instability. It is almost the hallmark of ¨D.R.C.¨ wines that they are instantly recognizable by their exotic opulence, yet rarely identical from bottle to bottle. Too often bottles are in frankly poor condition.

The same elusive quality applies to the wine in your glass. Of a bottle of La Tache 1962, which has been one of the very best burgundies for years ( at least in my view ), I noted in 1982 : ¨ Overwhelming high-toned smell of violets to start with, changing within 20 minutes to a more deep and fruity bouquet which seems at first like orange, then more like blackcurrants. The flavour was best about half an hour after opening - exotically rich and warm - then seemed to become a bit too alcoholic and lose some of its softness. Very exciting wine - not least for the speed and range of its metamorphose. ****

I still remembered I called 20/20 ( a Wine shop in LA ) and confirmed with an order of 4 bottles of 1962 LT but they were not allowed to ship to Montreal, Canada. I made a mistake of not requesting them to ship the order to my half-brother (- the 3rd son from my father's third concubine and I am the 7th son from my father's 4th concubine ) who lives on top of the Russian Hill in SF.

One of my few regrets in my wine-life.

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#30 Post by J. Cohen »

Part 2! Incredible. That 97’ Monty Jero wowzers! Again, a pleasure to read your report. Ripert’s menu not too shabby either! Thank you so much for sharing.
J a c o b

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#31 Post by alan weinberg »

Peter Chiu wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 7:25 am

As the prices of the Domain's wines are so spectacularly high, one expects to find them not only exception in I still remembered I called 20/20 ( a Wine shop in LA ) and confirmed with an order of 4 bottles of 1962 LT but they were not allowed to ship to Montreal, Canada.
Maybe you were lucky. I traded a case of Maya for a magnum of 1962 La Tâche long ago. From Bobby—the owner of 20-20. Looked pristine. Arranged a dinner around it. Wine was dead. Undrinkable. I’m still hoping to taste 62 LT some day.

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#32 Post by Peter Chiu »

alan weinberg wrote: May 4th, 2021, 5:31 pm
Peter Chiu wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 7:25 am

As the prices of the Domain's wines are so spectacularly high, one expects to find them not only exception in I still remembered I called 20/20 ( a Wine shop in LA ) and confirmed with an order of 4 bottles of 1962 LT but they were not allowed to ship to Montreal, Canada.
Maybe you were lucky. I traded a case of Maya for a magnum of 1962 La Tâche long ago. From Bobby—the owner of 20-20. Looked pristine. Arranged a dinner around it. Wine was dead. Undrinkable. I’m still hoping to taste 62 LT some day.
Thanks......Alan - I will sleep better to-nite. [thankyou.gif] [thankyou.gif]

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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#33 Post by Peter Chiu »

alan weinberg wrote: May 4th, 2021, 5:31 pm
Peter Chiu wrote: May 2nd, 2021, 7:25 am

As the prices of the Domain's wines are so spectacularly high, one expects to find them not only exception in I still remembered I called 20/20 ( a Wine shop in LA ) and confirmed with an order of 4 bottles of 1962 LT but they were not allowed to ship to Montreal, Canada.
Maybe you were lucky. I traded a case of Maya for a magnum of 1962 La Tâche long ago. From Bobby—the owner of 20-20. Looked pristine. Arranged a dinner around it. Wine was dead. Undrinkable. I’m still hoping to taste 62 LT some day.

I was curious and it took me a while but I finally found the 20/20 Category.

The LT 1962 was listed at US $ 1250 per and the Mgm was ...*Inquire*. Beside the word : *Inquire* : I wrote 5495. This meant the price for a Mgm 1962 was at a whopping US $5495 - when I ordered the 4 bs of LT 1962 long ago ( sadly I could not recall around when I did it - old age I guessed ).

*****I traded a case of Maya for a magnum of 1962 La Tâche long ago. From Bobby—the owner of 20-20. Looked pristine. Arranged a dinner around it. Wine was dead. Undrinkable***

So...there is no great wine, only bottle.

Yes ...Am I still hoping to taste 62 LT some day ? Hmmm...... rolleyes not as much as before.... [cry.gif]

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Jeremy Holmes
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Re: TN: Romanee Conti Dinner (part 2)

#34 Post by Jeremy Holmes »

Thanks for the notes Alex.
ITB

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