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Domaine de la Romanée-Conti 2002

Corney & Barrow, London, 17th February 2005

A view of Vosne-Romanée, with some of the vineyards marked, taken in the 2002 vintage

I’ve been looking forward to trying the much awaited 2002s from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti DRC for a while now. For the benefit of readers unfamiliar with this domaine, it’s Burgundy’s most famous, and probably the world’s most elite wine estate. Normally six, and sometimes (as in this year) seven red wines are produced, and it is intriguing to see which come out best in any one vintage. A select (sort of – they let me in!) band of trade, press and private buyers are invited to Corney & Barrows HQ near the Tower of London to taste the newly released vintage each February. We gather reverently between the hours of 8.30 am and 12 pm on the appointed day, but the wise punters get there early: because of the fantastic expense of these wines, C&B can’t open bottles with abandon, and if pouring is too generous they may run out. I overheard that one famous, rather aristocratic MW was furious one year when she arrived at 11.55 to find that the Romanée-Conti was all gone, but then ‘she was late’. Tough. DRC is bigger than any one individual. So it is with humility that we sip these wines. Humility, but objectivity. If we’re expecting someone to fork out many hundreds of pounds for a single bottle, the wine better justify it. Generally, the DRC wines do. If your budget is a little stretched, the one to go for this year is the Grands-Echézeauz, a stunner and a relative bargain at £160 (I did say 'relative'). DRC make a Montrachet, also, but this is available in tiny quantities and is not shown here.

Domaine de la Romanée Conti Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru Duvault-Blochet 2002
This is a deselected wine taken from a second harvest of the Grand Cru vineyards. Open, bright cherry and spice nose with a distinctive savouriness. The palate is savoury and full with an undergrowthy, spicy, earthy edge. Quite firm with good structure; currently a little tight. Very good+ 89/100 (Projected per bottle price £55.30)

Domaine de la Romanée Conti Echézeaux 2002
Perfumed and open on the nose but with some appealing spicy savouriness. Lovely perfume but still focused, with alluring rich, spicy structure evident on the nose. The palate is concentrated with rich fruit and a lovely savoury spicy structure. Good acidity gives a lovely freshness to the finish. Beautiful balance and focus; lots of promise for the future. Very good/excellent 94/100 (£102.30)

Domaine de la Romanée Conti Grands-Echézeaux 2002
Strikingly perfumed nose is very rich and full with a lovely spicy definition to the fruit. Spicy and ripe, but with great focus and hints of chocolate and tar. The palate has lovely dense structure to it, contributed by the firm tannins and good acid, but the overall impression is one of elegance and concentration. This is one for the long haul. Excellent 96/100 (£160.07)

Domaine de la Romanée Conti Romanée-St-Vivant 2002
Quite a structured, firm nose: dense, earthy and spicy with hints of undergrowth. Firm;y savoury, with fruit in the background. The palate is concentrated and firm with good acidity: still quite tight. Firm tannins although still quite fine grained. Hard to assess at the moment. Very good/excellent 93/100 (£221.75)

Domaine de la Romanée Conti Richebourg 2002
Beautifully perfumed open nose with forward, bright red fruits at the fore. Very focused with lovely spiciness. Complex and alluring. The palate is concentrated with forward, bright red fruits and a subtle herby spicy edge. Good acidity. Lovely fine spicy structure on the finish. Great depth. Excellent 96/100 (£221.75)

Domaine de la Romanée Conti La Tâche 2002
Very forward nose with quite bright red fruits displaying a spicy overlay and hints of tar. Striking and quite forward. The palate is vividly fruited with focus from the fresh acidity. Nicely weighted with a spicy tannic structure under the bright fruit. Clean, fresh fruit dominates, but all the components are here for successful ageing. Excellent 95/100 (£242.32)

Domaine de la Romanée Conti Romanée-Conti 2002 
Knockout nose: complex red fruits with a subtle tarry overlay, some chocolatey richness and a lovely fresh, spicy, herby element. There’s a sweetness and richness to the fruit. It’s quite profound. The palate is concentrated and taut with lovely spicy structure, generous fruit and good acidity. There’s an earthy, minerally underlay to the fruit. Very concentrated with firm structure and some richness: long and elegant, this has a great future ahead of it. Excellent 98/100 (£823.94)

Vintage Data 

Average age of vines (years)

Average production (doz)

Total production 2002 (doz)

Yield (hectolitres per hectare)

Vosne Romanée 1er Cru Cuvée Duvault-Blochet - - 1086 -






Grands Echézeaux















La Tâche





Romanée- Conti












Domaine de la Romanee Conti releases

 2001, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008


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