Domaine de la Romanee Conti   Romanee St Vivant

2007 Romanee-St-Vivant

By Domaine de la Romanee-Conti

2007 Romanee-St-Vivant from Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Burgundy, France

The profound capability of the vineyards of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti to articulate the nuances of Burgundy terroir is once again masterfully displayed in the 2007 vintage. This 2007 Romanee-St-Vivant, in particular, stands out for its poise and intricacy amidst a season that tested the mettle of winemakers across the region.


A Chronicle of Elegance: The 2007 Narrative

An erratic growing season, with unexpected spring warmth and a slightly damp August, preluded a bright September that proved critical for ripening. It is here that the brilliance of Domaine de la Romanee-Conti shines, having deftly navigated such variability to create a Romanee-St-Vivant replete with subtlety and depth.


A Tapestry of Tertiary Splendour

The 2007 vintage reveals a tapestry woven from vibrant red fruits and a whisper of spice that speaks of its aging process. Cherries, steeped in earthen lore, intertwine with a delicate tracery of wild herbs and an ethereal hint of rose petals. The palate is graced with an elegant structure, at once both powerful yet not presuming, with tannins that have matured into silken threads cradling the fruit signature endemic to Romanee-St-Vivant.

Fine wine investors will find the 2007 offering from Domaine de la Romanee-Conti an intriguing addition to portfolios not simply for its graceful ageing potential but also for its representation of a challenging vintage masterfully crafted into a work of vinous artistry.


Reflections on Investment and Enjoyment

The 2007 Romanee-St-Vivant encapsulates an enigmatic year, thus providing a distinct narrative for collectors and connoisseurs alike. With each sip unfolds another page of its story, making it a compelling proposition for those seeking wines with both character and longevity. Its investment allure is fortified by its rarity and the esteem in which this storied domain's craft is held. As it continues its journey through time, this vintage will no doubt continue to yield new layers for appreciation.

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The Domaine’s 2007 Romanee-St.-Vivant predictably inhabits a different world – not to mention being in a different league of complexity and intrigue – from their Echezeaux, Grands Echezeaux, or Richebourg of that vintage. Peat, leather, humus, forest floor, and decadent floral perfume are joined by an oceanic saline, alkaline, kelp-tinged aspect, and these surf-and-turf aspects follow on a polished palate that – despite only the slightest nod in the direction of overt fruitiness by way of dark berries – nevertheless displays a mouth-watering juiciness to accompany its myriad mineral and organic complexities. A persistently satisfying and thought-provoking finish points to the likelihood of 12-15 years continuance. Domaine de La Romanee-Conti director Aubert de Villaine perceives both the estate’s 2008 and 2007 collections as vins de garde, and I can’t argue with that assessment, even though when I first tasted the 2007s – soon after they had come out of malo – I harbored reservations, wondering whether to interpret de Villaine’s description of them as “ethereal” to read “ephemeral.” He says holding back the usual 5% share of production for the Domaine’s own cellar was difficult in the greatly reduced 2008 vintage, and that he is already regretting not having arranged to bottle a larger share in magnum. He still had time when I visited in April to reconsider the bottle format for three appellations, which were the only ones I was able to taste, since De Villaine is loathe to show wines in the first 9-12 months after bottling. (I’ll report on the full 2008 collection from bottle at a later date.) If the 2007s here were unusual for that vintage in the degree to which they gained stature in the course of elevage, such behavior was normal when it came to 2008, so that I was not surprised to hear de Villaine remark on a new-found degree of confidence in the stature of that collection. To an even greater degree than in most vintages, success in 2007 and 2008 came down to meticulousness at every stage; to quality of vine material; and to location, in all of which respects no estate in Burgundy has any advantage over the Domaine de La Romanee-Conti. Interestingly, the estate lingered no longer over the picking of their 2008s – from the first of the La Tache on September 27 to the last of the Echezeaux on October 6 – than they had over the 2007s, which were picked from September 1-11. The inclusion of stems was lowered to less than half in 2007, incidentally, but in 2008 was typically closer to three-quarters. Vendange entier is a technique not only time-honored and in continuous use at the Domaine de La Romanee-Conti (even when it fell out of favor at most Burgundy estates in the waning 20th century), but one which de Villaine and cellarmaster Bernard Noblet have subjected to repeated testing, so as to establish in any given vintage the right balance between 100% de-stemmed (“which lacks something by way of complexity,” says de Villaine) and 100% (“which can be too marked by the stems,” he continues). Importer: Wilson-Daniels, St. Helena, CA; tel. (707) 963-9661

David Schildknecht - The Wine Advocate, 28 June 2010

Vintage performance