Domaine des Comtes Lafon   Meursault 1er Cru Charmes

2006 Meursault 1er Cru Charmes

By Domaine des Comtes Lafon

2004 Montrachet from Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Burgundy, France

Even among the pantheon of lauded releases by the esteemed Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, the 2004 Montrachet stands distinctly. In this year, Burgundy's manifest destiny unveiled itself in the form of a chardonnay that radiates its pedigree and profound complexity.


A Viticultural Triumph

The 2004 vintage in Burgundy was characterised by an initial anxiety that rippled through the vineyards due to an unsettled summer; however, salvation came with September’s warmth and sunlight resulting in whites with remarkable ageing potential. Amidst this climatic dance, the 2004 Montrachet from Domaine de la Romanee-Conti gracefully emerged unscathed, enthroning itself with a poise that commands the respect of connoisseurs and investors alike.


Investment and Imbibement: A Dual Delight

At its heart, the 2004 Montrachet is a study in balance—a testament to the meticulous winemaking savoir-faire that encompasses both restraint and intensity. Orchard fruits interlace with an undercurrent of minerality, while secondary notes of toasted almond suggest nuanced developments through cellar aging. A persistent, refined finish marks it as a remarkable offering for investment portfolios given its rarity and prestige.

The symbiosis of climatic challenges and expert cultivation resulted in a wine that reveals its monolithic stature slowly; an investment made even more profound by its scarcity on the open market and the veneration it receives from enthusiasts seeking Burgundy's finest.

As a cornerstone for strategic diversification in fine wine portfolios, the vintage's unique narrative propelled by its palate evolution indeed offers an intriguing proposition. Its restrained opulence and lingering depth are typical markers that underscore its esteemed lineage—and allow for the 2004 Montrachet to not merely exist within a collection but to elevate it substantially.

In conclusion, engaging with the 2004 Montrachet from Domaine de la Romanee-Conti raises not just glasses but standards. For purveyors of fine Burgundian whites, this vintage embodies both a wise long-term asset and a consummate vinous journey through one of history's subtle yet standout years.

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Scores and tasting notes


Coming largely from 70-, 40- and 15-year old vines, and treated to around half new barrels, Lafon’s 2006 Meursault Charmes is both more open-knit and more overtly chalky and creamy than its stable mates, but displays notable polish and subtlety. Its nose of diverse citrus and pit fruits is tinged with notes of toast and vanilla. The finish here really “Charms”, enveloping and fanning out expansively, with no let up in sweetness of fruit or suggestions of crushed stone. “Honestly,” Lafon remarks, “when you taste wine from the 70 year old vines before racking, it’s just so lean and so mineral that on its own it’s almost undrinkable, too tough” and benefits from “a portion of young vines which is always much more up-front.” Expect this to be worth following for at least 8-10 years. The spicy, subtly bitter 2005 is polished and well-concentrated, but betrays extraneous hints of barrel and heat, and was outclassed by its siblings on both occasions when I tasted it. Like his neighbor Jean-Marc Roulot, Benoit Ente in Puligny, and a few others, Dominique Lafon obtained authorization to begin picking several days ahead of the official ban de vendange. He set his crew to work over the weekend, and was finished already on the 20th of September. The Perrieres, picked first, reached 13.8% alcohol, but all of the other wines weighed in at lower levels. Lafon insisted – and his wines testified – that the Chardonnay grapes were botrytis free, and he characterized the lees as excellent in quality and practiced “less settling than I did in the past.” That restraint – along with bright acids and pronounced minerality – makes for a richness that often expresses itself other than in creaminess. As these wines evolved, Lafon became increasingly enthusiastic about them, and I found them much more expressive on the eve of bottling than they had been in late 2007. Incidentally, the sickly vines in Lafon’s Desiree vineyard that have given so much bottled pleasure over the years gave their last in the beautifully refined, bittersweet, and for the vintage unusually delicate and creamy 2005. “It tastes as though the vines knew they were going to be pulled out,” was Lafon’s valediction. A Becky Wasserman Selection, Le Serbet (various importers), fax 011-33-3-80-24-29-70; A Daniel Johnnes Selection imported by Michael Skurnik Wines, Syosset, NY, tel. (516) 677 9300; Classic Wine Imports, Norwood, MA, tel. (781) 352 1100; Beaune Imports, Berkeley, CA, tel. (510) 559 1040

David Schildknecht - The Wine Advocate, 21 December 2008

Vintage performance