2001 Vosne-Romanée Grand Cru Dinner (Imperial Treasure Teochew, Takashimaya): The first of a truly great triumvirate of Richebourgs, this just about blew my mind. It had every hallmark of a great DRC, starting with a lovely, super-complex nose, with whole cluster nuances of boiled herb and bramble accompanied by blush of dried flowers and sweet Vosne spice, a gentle earthiness and then deep aromas of dark cherries and sweet blueberries. Wonderful. The palate elicited a big “wow” on my notes. This was at weighty and velvety and pure, with a truly luxuriant feel in the way its wonderful flavours of dark cherries and blueberries with a gentle infusion of spice and dried flowers coated the mouth in a deep, velvety cloak. Pure luxury someone said. A deeply integrated reservoir of acidity kept it beautifully clean and defined in spite of all that velvety depth, all the way into a long minerally finish. Superb stuff – this was power wed to elegance, purity and finesse. Drinking beautifully now, this was another bottle that showed even better than 9 months ago.
The biggest and most brooding against the GE and RSV, but also the most in need of time. A massive wine that has universal appeal, and great complexity. The GE is the best drinking now, and the Richebourg is a wine for the long term.
2001 Burgundy Grand Cru Dinner (Park Palace, Grand Park Hotel): Outstanding. The best of the three Richebourgs by some distance, this was brilliant, only suffering because it was placed next to the superlative 2001 DRC Romanee St Vivant rather than its brethren. This had a lovely nose, with dark fruited accents of blueberries and blackberries, and little shades of earth and wood spice and a hint of DRC herb – a truly beautiful bouquet. The palate was surprisingly open and giving, with a lovely expression of cool blue fruit. This had all the powerful fullness and strength that you would expect of a top-notch Richebourg, yet it was still so very elegant, couched in the finest tannins and just beautifully integrated acidity. From the attack, cool blueberry flavours were kissed by juicy sour plums and orange peel, and then layers of woody Vosne spice, with marsala, cumin, cloves nutmeg, all tumbling onto the midpalate. Lovely stuff. Full, delicious and beautifully poised. Great finish too, long, juicy, powerful, with blueberries and sweeter preserved fruit laced with more of that lovely spice. A complete, brilliant wine, drinking nicely on the night. Watch this space though - I think the wine has a long way to go yet. This will be great to try again in 5 years.
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(Romanée-Conti Richebourg) Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose is of faintly alcoholic red cherry that overlays a spicy base. In the mouth, concentrated essence of dried fruits (shouldn't write that - the next might be even more concentrated). The tannins are close to be completely covered by the fruit, the finish evidently more harmonious than the last tasting. Whilst this doesn't quite have that 'x-factor' displayed by the Romanée-Saint-Vivant it now shows the makings of a super wine.
(Romanée-Conti Richebourg) Less deep colour than the Romanée-St-Vivant - but marginally. The nose has a more black aspect to the fruit, subtle aspects from the stems and quite high toned. Doesn't seem to develop in the glass to the same extent as the others, but there's still some change with the oak spice becoming more pronounced and a little more meaty. The palate has really good depth and fat, similar to the RSV, the quality and fineness of the tannin shining through - more so than the previous wines. The finish is very long, but seems more oak than wine. Has the depth of the Grands Échézeaux but shows in a more backward way - lovely smooth coating on the teeth though. A wine that's not all joined-up yet, oak, fruit and oak but not a 'whole' wine just yet.
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