Domaine de la Romanée-Conti

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is widely considered to be one of the world's greatest wine producers, so famous it is commonly referred to simply by the initials DRC. Bottles of DRC are among the world’s rarest, most renowned and most highly sought-after.

The Domaine takes its name from their most famous vineyard, Romanée-Conti Grand Cru. The boundaries of this hallowed vineyard were established back in the 16th century. Over time, its name changed from Cros des Cloux to Romanée-Conti after its purchase by King Louis XV’s cousin, the Prince de Conti.

Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is the proud owner of many of the most famous Grands Crus on the Côte d’Or, a maker of richly complex, long-lasting ethereal wines produced from their almost 28 hectares of prime vineyards. DRC produces stunning wines that manage to combine finesse with power and grace, with intensity aptly described by the legendary Michael Broadbent MW as ‘an iron fist in a velvet glove’.

For many people, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is ‘The Domaine’ in Burgundy and the pinnacle for Burgundy lovers. The Domaine owns two famous monopoles: the 1.81 hectares of Romanée Conti and 6.06 hectares of La Tâche.

Additionally, DRC owns nearly half of Richebourg, over half of Romanée-Saint-Vivant, over a third of Grands Echézeaux and significant holdings in Echézeaux, 0.68 hectares of Le Montrachet, and has produced a Corton Grand Cru since 2009 and a Corton Charlemagne since 2018.

Occasionally, the Domaine produces a Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru Cuvée Duvault-Blochet from younger vines in their Grand Cru vineyards. DRC owns a minuscule section of Bâtard-Montrachet, which is not commercialised — so only those lucky enough to visit DRC can enjoy a taste of this extraordinarily rare white Burgundy.

The Domaine has been at the forefront of viticultural developments and has adopted biodynamic approaches, helping the vines build up natural resistance to pests and diseases. The winemaking at the Domaine is directed by Alexandre Bernier and his team, following the retirement of Bernard Noblet in 2018, who was the cellarmaster at Domaine de la Romanée-Conti since the 1986 vintage.

There is no disputing the quality of the wines, particularly their highly sought-after, longest-lived, greatly prized Romanée-Conti Grand Cru, an extraordinarily complex multi-faceted wine with a fragrant and intense lingering finish. This is very scarce, as on average only 450 cases are produced each vintage, and for some vintages only around 3,000 bottles when vagaries like spring frosts such as vineyards in France suffered in 2021 significantly reduce yields.

Next in the pecking order comes La Tâche, which in some vintages can match the longevity and brilliance of Romanée-Conti, but tends to be more approachable: a lighter and more delicately perfumed and fragrant style. La Tâche is only separated from Romanée-Conti by a narrow track and it is amazing that these wines often have a completely different character from the same vintage.

Richebourg is powerful, rich and complex with an earthier and spicier character. Romanée-Saint-Vivant is delicate, elegant and floral and can be rated qualitatively alongside Grands-Echézeaux in terms of power and persistence. Grands-Echézeaux is considered a finer, fleshier and slightly more intense wine than the suppler tannic structure of Echézeaux. DRC Montrachet is considered by many as the finest white in the world, ageing superbly well and evolving rich, honeyed, buttery complexity.

Any vintages of Romanée-Conti Grand Cru are in high demand, but the 1945, 1959, 1962, 1971, 1978, 1985, 1988, 1990, 1996, 1999, 2005, 2009, 2010, 2015, 2016, 2019 and 2020 take this demand to a stratospheric level.