The small commune of Vosne-Romanée is the Côte de
Nuits’ brightest star and produces the finest and most
Noir wines in the world. Its wines have an extraordinary
intensity of fruit which manages to combine power and finesse more magically
than in any other part of the Côte d’Or. The best balance
extraordinary depth and richness with elegance and breeding.
Situated just north of Nuits St Georges, Vosne-Romanée boasts
8 Grand Cru vineyards, 3 of which include the suffix Romanée to
which the village of Vosne appended its name in 1866. The famous La
Romanée vineyard was formerly known as Le Cloux but was
renamed in 1651 presumably after the Roman remains found nearby. In 1760 the
property was bought by Prince de Conti, and subsequently became known as
Vosne is the home of the phenomenally fine wines of Domaine de la
Romanée-Conti; divine wines that are, as they say, not for everyone
but for those who can afford them. The region also boasts some of the
world’s most talented, quality-conscious and pioneering producers:
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti of course, but also Henri Jayer, Lalou
Bize-Leroy, René Engel, as well as the Grivot and Gros
families, to name but a few.
Vosne-Romanée has the greatest concentration of top vineyards in
the Côte d’Or, including the tiny Grand Crus of the astonishing
La Romanée-Conti (a monopoly of Domaine de la
Romanée-Conti producing about 600 cases a year), the classy,
complex La Romanée (a monopoly of Vicomte Liger-Belair,
but until 2002 bottled under Bouchard Père et Fils, producing a
minuscule 300 cases or so a year) and the little-known La Grande Rue. As
the name suggests this runs up the side of the road out of Vosne. Originally a
Premier Cru it was rightly upgraded in 1992, although its rich, spicy, floral
Pinots are yet to reach their real potential under Domaine Lamarche who
hold it as a monopoly.
By convention the wines of neighbouring Flagey-Echézeaux are
considered part of Vosne-Romanée. These include the large, very variable
30ha Echézeaux (divided between 84 different growers) and the
more consistent, silky, intense, violet-scented Grands Echézeaux
La Tâche is another monopoly of Domaine de la
Romanée-Conti. It is explosively seductive with a peerless finesse, and
is almost as good as their legendary eponymous wine. Richebourg is one
of Burgundy’s most voluptuous wines and one which can challenge La
Tâche in some years, while Romanée-St Vivant, which takes
its name from the monastery of St-Vivant built around 900AD in Vergy, has a
lovely silky finesse but is slightly less powerful.
If that wasn’t enough, Vosne-Romanée also boasts some
absolutely magnificent Premiers Crus headed by Clos des Réas,
Les Malconsorts (just south of La Tâche, and arguably of Grand Cru
quality) and Les Chaumes on the Nuits St Georges side, Cros
Parantoux (made famous by Henri Jayer), Les Beauxmonts and Les
Suchots on the Flagey-Echézeaux border. The old maxim that
‘there are no common wines in Vosne-Romanée’ may not be
strictly true, but it is not far off.
Drinking dates vary, but as a general rule of thumb Grand Crus are best
drunk from at least 10 to 25 years, Premier Crus from 8 to 20 years and village
wines from 5 to 12 years.
There are no white wines produced in Vosne-Romanée.
- 99 hectares of village Vosne Romanée.
- 56 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards (14 in all). Best vineyards
include Les Gaudichots, Les Malconsorts, Cros Parentoux, Les Suchots, Les
Beauxmonts, En Orveaux and Les Reignots.
- 75 hectares of Grand Cru vineyards - Romanée-Conti, La
Romanée, La Tache, Richebourg, Romanée St Vivant, La Grande Rue,
Grands Echézeaux, Echézeaux.
- Recommended Producers: Domaine de la
Romanée Conti, Leroy, Cathiard, Engel, Rouget, Grivot, Liger Belair.