Back at Berns (Tampa): Superb nose of spice, red fruit, dried roses and touch of earth. There was a funkiness that came and went for the first hour, but thankfully disappeared for the remaining 4 hours. Vibrant with outstanding spice and stem note on the palate. Touch of Rhubarb later in the night. Perfect drinking spot right now and the spice is delicious.
The first bottle was deliciously perfumed, spicy and exotic. It had a nose of red fruits, sarsaparilla root and roses. It was sweet and lacy, only mid-weight but with perfect poise and balance. There was some grated ginger to the flavour profile and it was ethereal, building through the palate and fanning out at the finish. The second bottle had similar traits but perhaps with a suggestion of black cherry that I did not see in the first bottle (perhaps not, perhaps I just made the black cherry thing up).
The shocking thing was I opened it and thought, this smells like Domaine Leroy. Or maybe I should have been thinking, Domaine Leroy smells like DRC. In any case, extraordinary wine here. Filled out in the mid-palate as time went on, becoming richer. I think it could still use some more time. To me, not showing any signs of age. That all being said, we opened a bottle of Domain Leroy 2000 Romanee St. Vivant right along side it, and, frankly, the Leroy one-up'd the DRC. Can't complain about either one though.
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(Romanée-Conti Romanée Saint-Vivant) Medium, medium-plus colour - just a very faint edge of amber at the rim. The nose is a sniffer’s delight - though the stems are very forward - they overlay a deep and primary red-fruit nose that’s edged with softness and a faint, savoury, musky note. The more it develops in the glass the more savoury it becomes; the last drops showing an extra fineness. In the mouth the wine is clearly grand cru in texture though the concentration is not so up-front, it rather develops on the tongue in an understated way. The tannins are well covered though I find the acidity is the least perfect aspect - not bad, but just a little bright - at this level I demand seamless. There is a subtle extra dimension in the mid-palate and into the finish - which is also very understated. Apart from the nose and the entry, everything about the wine is subtle and low-key - it holds the interest amply though, even the acidity seems well-judged at the death. Very fine now, if not quite mind-bending. I expect it will only get better for at least the next 10 years but it was very much enjoyed - to the last drop!
(Romanée-Conti Romanée Saint-Vivant) Cherry in shade and a deeper colour than the previous wine. The nose is more reticent, but certainly shows more complexity than the Echézeaux from a similar fruit profile i.e. red, rather than the black of the Grands Echézeaux. Shows coffee and faint vanilla in the mix too. Compared to the Grands Echézeaux, the palate starts explosively, the velvety tannin grabbing the inside of your mouth to attach the fruit. There’s nice acidity that pushes the persistent finish longer. Lovely.
(DRC Romanee St. Vivant) Crushed roses, raspberry framboise, wood spice and dried leaves. Very exotic and stylish. Supple and intensely concentrated but again so pure and perfectly balanced. This is like liquid Monet. Floral and high-toned in the mouth with great depth and lifting acids. A little closed on the finish but opened up with my second taste twenty minutes later. Gorgeous.
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