2001 Vosne-Romanée Grand Cru Dinner (Imperial Treasure Teochew, Takashimaya): This amazing wine was the last of three repeat bottles that we had also drank back in September 2014 during our 2001 Grand Cru dinner. Back then, it was easily the wine of the night from amongst a superb field, showing absolutely brilliantly. It seemed to have lost some of its virtuosity amidst the even stronger line-up this time round though, with some of the other wines, including the Arnoux RSV later on in this flight just shading it somewhat. That is not to take anything away from this bottle though – this was a great, great wine in its own right. As before, it had a just incredible nose, with sweet cherries and berries, swirls of boiled herb and bramble and wood spice, a sprinkle dried flowers, all tumbling out of the glass in a wonderful mélange of fragrant aromas. The palate seemed a little tighter, rather last openly giving and seductive than with the previous bottle, but it shared the same wonderful, juicy clarity in its glorious flavours of sweet dark cherries, haw flakes and orange peel, then wood spice and gentle notes of earth, all carried on a bed of soft, silky tannins and lovely acidity that still held the wine in a gentle grip as it lingered into a beautiful finish. There was such a lovely sense of finesse here, so much so that one barely felt the considerable depth and breadth of the wine as it caressed the palate. I said that this was the archetypal RSV the last time I tried it, and that remains the best way I can describe the wine. Beautiful, and with this bottle at least, it would have shown even better with a couple more years under its belt.
Fairly light ruby color. Gorgeous nose of earthy cherries and minerals. needed about 30 minutes to open up and then showed just beautiful soil-inflected cherry fruit. A very ethereal, elegant, savory texture gives way to a fabulously complex finish with notes of violets and spice and a good whiplash of acidity that suggests the wine needs a bit more time to show its best. I really feel and taste the soil here and it's permeated with this gorgeous earthy perfume. Just lovely and should still improve. 95+
Cloudier than the Grands Echezeaux, and more tightly wound. This wine wasn't as elegant as I have come to expect of RSV, and I'm inclined to think this bottle wasn't pristinely stored. On its own I'm sure I would have contemplated it for hours. Certainly a lot of raw material here, and will likely evolve for decades.
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(DRC Romanee St. Vivant) This was wonderful albeit a bit oaky. Rich and structured with loads of sweet oak and tons of ripe tannins. The nose had mashed flowers, sous bois, dirty soil, stony minerality and ripe red fruits. The structure was massive and this had enough fruit to suck up all the oak but that will be way down the road. The balance was ethereal and the length was astounding. The finish pumped out the fruit. This needs many many years to come around but has amazing fruit and stucture and will be profound once it enters its drinking window.
(Romanée-Conti Romanée Saint-Vivant) Medium, medium-plus colour. The nose shows in a more restrained way than January - a little powdery at first - slowly becoming vanilla-tinged red fruit with a shade of pepper. The palate is a model of understated power, well covered, finely grained tannins. The nose is now starting to unlock a little, still mainly red berries, but we've moved up a gear. A real smoothie and whilst obviously outstanding it's not such a stand-out as the last tasting.
(Romanée-Conti Romanée Saint-Vivant) By a short-head this is the darkest wine on display - though still medium, medium-plus cherry red in colour. The nose is a melange of red fruits - mainly cherry - vanilla and a nice white pepper note. Instantly obvious is the extra fat and density of fruit when compared to the previous two wines. Again the tannins are super-smooth. Much more interesting length than the Grands Échézeaux. This wine really impresses - an appreciable step-up. Given extended time in the glass the nose becomes more focused on the red fruit and shows a touch of mocha. I seem to have written the least about this wine, but it is actually the most outstanding of the six - relative to their appellations of course.
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