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Old 23-07-2007, 04:04 AM posted to alt.food.wine
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Default TN Romanee-Conti 1970

The wine was Romanee-Conti 1970, bottle 006221 of 9026 bottles, US
agent: Frederich Wildman & Sons,NYC, 13.5% alcohol by volume.
This wine was properly stored since release. The fill was high, and
the cork was quite sound.

I had this wine when it was perhaps 10 years old. It was quite
drinkable then, but showed no better than the DRC 1970 La Tache and
Richebourg. Romanee-Conti takes a very long time to peak. I would say
it should not be drunk until at least 20 years old if from a decent
year such as 1970 and even considerably older if from an outstanding
year such as 1978 or 1985. With enough time the secondary complexity
that says Romanee-Conti rather than La Tache develops. La Tache can be
fuller and more fruity. However, given proper storage and enough age,
Romanee-Conti often tops the other top DRC wines because it has
perfect balance and great complexity as well as an oriental spice
character that some mention.

This wine is at a peak now, but could hold well quite a while longer.
The main description is perfect balance. Acid is ample, there is still
a littly tannin in the background, the fruit is a complex mixture of
cherry, black cherry, and hints of many other fruits that defy
description. Then there is the "oriental spice" that has now
developed. It reminds one of a very complex mixture of spices, but if
forced to name one I would say star anise - I might say something else
tomorrow, as it keeps you guessing. I have not tasted the 1985 yet. It
likely needs at least 30 years of age, perhaps more, to show
everything of which it is capable. I would expect it to be much as I
described the 1970, except it likely would be considerably more
intense and even more complex, if that is possible.

When I bought this wine in the 1970s, it was expensive at about US$50,
but not extremely much more so than DRC's La Tache. The main problem
back then was just finding it. Today the price of Romanee-Conti of
nearly any year is much higher than La Tache, and usually costs in the
thousands of dollars per bottle. Demand by the ultra rich in the
Orient may have something to do with this. Many of these people are
now interested in fine wine, and are willing to pay exceedingly high
prices for what is considered the best, most rare, etc. A few decades
ago, their parents and grandparents often were more interest in very
old and rare Cognac than in fine wine.


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