Introduction to DRC: where's the best place to start?

For argument’s sake, let’s say you’ve decided to purchase a single 750 ml bottle of DRC amongst their GC reds. For those fortunate enough to have had their fair share of DRC bottlings, what advice would you give to someone who is looking to purchase their first bottle? As for me, I’m not currently in the market for one, but hope to one day pull the trigger. Thanks!

La Tache for sure

Once you climb that high up the ladder, is it best to spend a small fortune on a great vintage, as opposed to saving hundreds on a lesser one? Thanks!

My first was the 1990 RSV. A good way to start, but it can be more tannic than Echezeaux. However, I didn’t have a choice in the matter.

Just make sure you get it from this guy as he insists on perfect labels and capsules:

This is a Rorshach test. There is a DRC signature in all of the bottles I’ve had - I haven’t tried the Corton, so can’t attest to whether it’s there or not, but all of the others deliver. For me, I went low-ball. Price was right on a crummy vintage (1992) Echezeaux and La Tache. Bought both. Tried both. Found value for the dollars paid. Curiosity piqued. Bought 1990 Romanee St. Vivant to see what a better vintage with a little more bottle age would provide. Swooned a little. Chased birth year examples to see what age does. Mixed results achieved, but continue to chase the rainbow. Somewhere in there, there was a 1984 Grands Echezeaux that was passable and not regretted, but that’s one whose bottle got recycled (the 1992s did too, but they were better wines at the time consumed).

I think that the most instructive moment for me was a pooled-funds tasting where we went through the entire lineup with cost spread between 12-14 participants. If you really need to get into a wine through the course of a bottle, I’d go with RSV or Tache - at release pricing, take the Tache, at market pricing, take the RSV.


Careful with the language :astonished:

2000 la Tache is killing it so hard right now for “lesser vintage”

At this price level, imo, the ‘worth’ is all about what they show at maturity, which would generally be 20+ years. Sometimes much more than that. A couple of years ago I had a 90 DRC Richebourg that was quite young and still had lots of stem and tannins to resolve. Giving this another 10 years at least seemed required. I like the idea of getting La Tache, but looking for the oldest great condition bottle at auction that you can afford makes sense to me. Getting a good but not ‘great’ vintage (2000 or 2001 for example) will help you drink the wine sooner rather than later.

If you’ve got the money, they can be great to drink younger…but you have to be ok with opening an unhappy/lessExpressive wine occasionally. That’s most all burgundy. It just hurts more when paying DRC prices.

Yes and yes.

This was one of my favorite wines to buy on restaurant lists from 2008 >> 2011.
We put away a few bottles at Auberge, now it is $2500-- or so there. Bummer.
Likewise, it is now sold out at Bern’s (or was last time I was there). It was $800-- or $900-- there. No brainer.

You are a few years too late, it was possible to find DRC quite widely in European restaurants for very fair prices (2000 La Tache for EUR 500, Echezeaux for EUR 220), but most of those sources have dried up.

Start at Ech?? Then work your way up? My first experience happen to be a tasting of all the 2008’s…Ech to Conti! I was amazed at how similar they all were…had an intoxicating exotic dusty spice and liqueur berry fruit…with the later wines just showing even more and better balance for age. I wanted some for myself…and went out and picked up some Ech(and even the 1er has it!) to satisfy the DRC crave! It works for the relative qpr…also gives you inspiration to climb the ladder…as long as the bank account agrees!

I would avoid older Ech’s, say '88 and before. In my (limited) experience, and corresponding to what I remember reading. there were a number of other producers whose version was better at that time. I’d also avoid the whole range of '69s, otherwise an excellent vintage in Burgundy. Parker also was disappointed. :wink:

Age and proper serving routine (longish slow-o imho) and a cool temperature, are absolutely necessary for older Burgs to show well!



I would say that GE consistenly shows in the top 3 wines in the DRC lineup virtually every year I have done them from 1995.

My pick for value wine in the lineup, they usually look very good young and they also live a very long time…

Not that I would fit your criteria of “fortunate enough to have had their fair share of DRC bottlings”, but I would echo the GE suggestion. My first proper bottle (i.e. outside small tasting pours) was a 2000 GE, and it was great. Should give you a good indication of whether the style is for you.

Unfortunately, I don’t need much more than my fingers to count the DRC bottles I’ve tasted, but in my limited experience, the best/most memorable bottles were more than 20 years old. In my opinion, like all things Burgundy, the magic comes with bottle age. If you could find someone to share the cost and pleasure of an aged bottle, that would be great.

In any case a vintage close to maturity, otherwise it´s wasted if you wanna taste it soon.
Sure LT would be the 1st choice, but if money is an issue then I´d take a Grands Echezeaux.
Maybe 1991.

I have to disagree with this. I just had '69 Richebourg a couple weeks ago and it was an absolutely beautiful wine. Maybe they just took extra time to come around? I hope so because I also own '69 LT.

My first DRC was actually simply the Echezeaux – 2007 to be exact. Opened next to an array of great wine including the 2002 Dujac Clos de la Roche and 2000 Haut Brion, and the 2007 DRC Echezeaux turned out to be one of the best, if not the best, wine of the lineup. Over the years, I’ve also had 01 GE, 90 RSV, 91 RSV, 02 GE, 76 GE. . . no Richebourg, La Tache, and RC experience.

I think the “best” place to start with DRC is actually in your own head – meaning, keep your expectations of the wine realistic. Because DRC has become one of the holy grails of Burgundy (if not all in the wine world), I think many who haven’t had their wines simply expect to have some out of body experience – and sadly, that has led to underwhelming experiences. While I believe that you should expect a quality wine with great attributes, I do not think it’s fair to have an expectation/perception that a DRC is Mount Everest and you “have” to like it as everyone’s palate is different. I would suggest starting off trying to taper your expectations (I know it’s difficult) and approach the wine like you would any other wine and appreciate it for its history/origins. Sometimes, the best experience is one that you least expect!