First Dinner in Burgundy (Bistro de l'Hotel - Beaune): Really sensational, my Wine of the Night in a great first night in Burgundy. Red cherry and strawberry aromas, slightly mature with some reduced mushroom notes, plenty of licorice and cloves in support. Same moderately mature red cherry flavors, great textures and balance throughout. Very long and impressive in every way.
The nose was Asian spice central with its Chinese five spice and freshly grated ginger smells. In the mouth it was pure with bright red fruits, a touch of beef stock and some spice. It had great detail and cut and a silky mouthfeel.
Nose a bit closed, but showing some red and blue fruit, and some sous bois. Not very powerful but elegant with lots of minerals and a silky mouthfeel. The tannins are there but well integrated. Medium+ finish. Very good but not outstanding.
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(Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Echezeaux) Bricking dark ruby color; lovely, earthy, tart cherry, mineral, black cherry nose; tasty, silky textured, tart cherry, tart black cherry, mineral palate; medium-plus finish 93+ points
(Romanée-Conti Echézeaux) Tasted blind. Medium, medium-plus colour. High-toned, less dense than the previous 2003, narrower and more floral, slowly adds weight and dimension. Lovely palate, plenty of fine tannin, fresh candied red fruit. Good density, a slow diminuendo to the reasonably long finish. Very stylish. Someone else guessed the vintage, I got the appellation.
(Romanée-Conti Echézeaux) Medium, medium-plus cherry red in colour. The nose is of crushed cherry and raspberries that overlay a faintly spicy, subtle coffee-bean base. The tannin seems to show a little more grip than the last tasting, but frankly (despite chewing on bread for the last ten minutes) I keep getting 'Montrachet-flashbacks' as I taste. The spicy palate is silken with excellent acidity and a tinge of oak on the finish that's reminiscent of the Montrachet - unless that's still the Montrachet! Clearly a pure and distinguished wine, but doesn't show that joie de vivre that was so evident in January.
(Romanée-Conti Echézeaux) Medium, medium-plus cherry red. Bright and intense nose of red and black cherry - shaded to red - with raspberry and subtle spice. The palate is sweet with very smooth tannin, nice concentration and just a little vanilla on the finish - a finish of 20-30 seconds. Smooth, understated and very drinkable - I'm surprised how easily this drinks. With time the impressive nose develops a little more spice. To put this wine firmly into context, after the La Tâche and Romanée-Conti, the nose is slightly less concentrated and certainly more diffuse. Still, there's super length if less depth on the palate - in a word the wine is just 'simpler' than the top two, but nonetheless a very fine Échézeaux.
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