2017 Dom de la Romanee Conti Grands Echezeaux GC
This wine is Grand
before being Echezeaux.
A peaceful wine, serene with age,
made for erudite.
It is "Grands" before being Echezeaux. It is a country gentleman, aristocrat and dreamer, who idles willingly with the unhurried step of his horse in a forest filled with the scents of sundry mushrooms, of mosses, of dead decaying leaves, of furtive small game, which spill forth in a multitude of shifting alliances. All of that is expressed delicately, in a refined, musical tongue, concise and pure like the message of a Mozart quartet.
Domaine Romanee Conti is perhaps the most famous and sought after wine of Burgundy and possibly all of the world. Its roots date back 1500 years and the land has been legendary throughout history. It has been owned and run by two families since 1869.
96 Points, Antonio Galloni
The 2017 Grands-Echézeaux Grand Cru is a pretty big step up in this range, both in terms of depth, power and energy. Here the flavors are dark, while there is quite a bit of tannin lurking beneath. Black cherry, graphite, leather, smoke, spice and menthol infuse the 2017 with tons of virile, somber character. Readers will have to be very patient. A whole range of sepia-toned aromas and flavors shrouded in tannin add depth to an imposing Grands-Echézeaux built for cellaring. Harvest was on September 12.
94+ Points, Wine Advocate
More brooding and reserved than the Échézeaux that preceded it in the tasting, the 2017 Grands Échézeaux Grand Cru unwinds in the glass with an enticing bouquet of cassis, blackberries, blood orange, exotic spices and musk. On the palate, it's full-bodied, ample and fleshy, with a more introverted, structured profile than the Échézeaux, its considerable reserves of concentrated fruit framed by an abundance of powdery tannin and succulent acids. Long and penetrating, this will reward sustained bottle age. The Grands Échézeaux was picked on September 12. The Domaine de la Romanée-Conti's 2017s are showing brilliantly from bottle, and this tasting with Bertrand de Villaine was one of the absolute high points of my two months of visits along the Côte d'Or. While barrel tasting is informative, there is no substitute for tasting finished wines in bottle—especially at an estate such as the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, where élevage is quite long and the wines are allowed to take their time—and spending an hour or two with full glasses of wines such as these is not merely of immense professional interest but, I admit, a source of great personal pleasure. Bertrand de Villaine observed that the development of the 2017s in barrel and in bottle has been "reassuring," as the wines have gained in depth and profundity despite a vintage that marks the domaine's most generous yield since 2009—despite the domaine's spring debudding, its low-yielding vine selections and the high average age of its vines. Revisited in bottle, the wines show even better than they did from barrel, and it is clear that this is a vintage that will give immense pleasure to anyone able to secure a few bottles. Hauntingly aromatic, structurally supple and pungently intense, this vintage will drink well younger than both its 2016 and 2015 predecessors, but it is much closer in quality to those two vintages than I perceived 12 months ago. At the end of our tasting, the group spent some time discussing possible analogies, and the comparison I found the most compelling is with the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti's 1985 vintage. Indeed, I had drunk a superb 1985 Grands-Echézeaux from the domaine over dinner with a good friend a few days before my visit, and the similarities in overall balance between the two vintages were strikingly apparent as I tasted through the young 2017s. The domaine's 2017 Montrachet also merits special comment, as it is a magical wine built for the ages. Wine Advocate Interim, Jan 2020
100% Pinot Noir
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