A Good Outlook
Rainy, cold and windy. On the streets of Vosne-Romanées parked cars on both sides. An important date: The tasting of the vintage 2005 which is to be bottled soon - for vine dressers, wine merchants and jounralists. 39 domains, hundreds of wines. So many Vosne-Romanées for degustation in one place you hardly find elsewhere. Some weeks before bottling - after which they close again - the wines proved to be rather accessible. Generally speaking, the 2005 is going to be very dense with full fruit and good structure. It seemed a bit stronger than the super fine 1999, but it hasn't got as dense tannins as e.g. the 1993. Everybody seemed to be very happy about the vintage and it's estimated that it is going to develop very well and is going to rate among the really great ones.
With such a huge number of tastings one has to make a selection. We tasted 72 wines from 23 domains - more than enough.
Exceptional were Bruno Clavelier (especially the excellent Villages "Les Hautes Maizières" and the impressive 1er Cru "Les Beaux Monts"), Mongeard-Mugneret (great, very fine Échezeaux and Grand Échezeaux), Noellat Michel et Fils (especially the fantastic 1er Cru "Les Beaux Monts").
Very recommendable we found the Gros Frere et Soer (traditional, classical appearing Vosnes), Michel Gros (1er Cru "Clos des Réas"), François Lamarche (elegant "Échezeaux" and "La Grande Rue" - no bruiser, but delicious and balanced), Méo-Camuzet (very dense and smoothed), Perrot-Minot (concentrated and complex), Jacques Prieur (Échezeaux!), Robert Sirugue (traditional style, very good Grands Échezeaux), Tardy Jean et Fils (fine and strong).
Also important Negociants were there: We liked Bouchard Pere et Fils (fantastic 1er Cru "Malconsorts" and complex Échezeaux) and Luis Jadot (elegant Échezeaux and Grand Échezeaux). Not quite our cup of tea was the Romanee-St.-Vivant by Louis Latour - we tasted, aside from the 2005, the 2004 and 2003 as well.
This long degustation offered us the opportunity to have a rich look at the Terroirs of Vosne-Romanée. Village wine, many Premier Cru climates and the Grand Crus Échezeaux, Grand Échezeaux, Romanée St-Vivant and Richebourg of different wine makers in direct comparison. The only missing of the Grand Cru climates were: La Romanée (the domains producing it, Bouchard and Liger-Belair, nevertheless offered some other wines of their selection) and the even more legendary ones, La Tache and La Romanée-Conti (the domain Romanée-Conti unfortunately wasn't there - wines beyond the thousand Euro mark don't go into the cuspidor just like that). After so many wines we were looking forward to: Water!