Okay. I am late. Forgive me. Tomorrow is today. And I can tell you about drinking the 1990 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche. In fact, I also was lucky enough to have drunk it with three other DRC’s at the dinner at Les Sources de Caudalie in Bordeaux last Wednesday with supercollectors/friends from Hong Kong, including 1996 DRC Richebourg versus 1995 DRC Richebourg and 1991 DRC La Tâche versus 1990 DRC La Tâche.
The latter was incredible. It is one of "the" great wines of the 20th century. I remember drinking it blind a few years back at a tasting dinner with the same people in Hong Kong and it was clearly better than the 1990 Romanée-Conti. This is not the accepted wisdom, but who the hell gets to drink them side by side except for their owners?! DRC La Tâche is the greatest Pinot Noir on earth for me, and the 1990 is very close to the best of the best.
The bottle I had last week in Bordeaux was 100 points, non-blind. No doubt. We were all speechless, because we were all too busy savoring every drop of this magical Pinot. It’s really the density and texture of the wine that blows your mind. It’s dense yet refined, with wonderful, supervelvety tannins that coat every millimeter of your mouth. I have used the cashmere analogy so many times, so I really need to come up with something better but I can’t for the moment.
Anyway, the nose was so complex, with bright blackberry, chocolate and meat, and just a hint of cedar and roses. Maybe some chocolate as well. It was full and thick but bright and fruity and it continued to change in character every few minutes. What a wine! It is art! Great art! The wine is so soulful and thought provoking. Now if I could only win the lottery to buy a few bottles!
The 1991 La Tâche was a wonderful bottle as well, but not in the same league as the 1990. It just didn’t have the depth of fruit and richness. Nonetheless, it is a wine to be reckoned with, like all the 1991 DRCs. This is a very underrated vintage for the domain. The 1991 La Tâche was opulent, with berry, licorice, orange peel and coffee aromas that followed through to a full body, with silky tannins and a long, beautiful aftertaste. It was very racy. 96 points.
I seemed to slightly prefer the 1996 Richebourg to the 1991 La Tâche, though by just one point. It was a little fuller and more opulent. It showed rich plum, cedar and floral character with a full body and very silky tannins. I would give it a few more years. The 1995 Richebourg, by comparison, was just a little less generous, with much of the same character as the 1996, but with an added vanilla and smoke undertone. 96 points. I would give it another year or two to open. There was open debate around the table of about 12 people whether the 1995 was better than the 1996. It was about half and half.
Almost forgot that we compared two 1995 Montrachets as well: Marc Colin and Joseph Drouhin Marquis de Laguiche. For me, the latter hammered the former. Marquis de Laguiche is large production for Montrachet, but I love the crystal-clear, precise winemaking style, and this was no different. The 1995 Laguiche still needs a few years of bottle age but I love the apple, honey, toasted oak and vanilla aromas and particularly the caressing, fresh, full and refined palate. What class! 96 points. The Colin was flat. I didn’t even mark it.
The dinner ended with a bottle of 1978 Château Rayas Châteauneuf-du-Pape Réservé. It was outstanding, but not as fab quality as the bottle we had had the night before, as I mentioned in my last blog. This was more rustic and funky. 93 points.
Comparing Rayas to DRC is really unfair. It’s like comparing a 599 Ferrari to a Mustang Shelby 500, or U2 to Def Leppard or ... you get the idea. Regardless, very few wines can compare to the perfection of the 1990 DRC La Tâche ...
Jeffrey Ghi — New York — May 14, 2007 4:36pm ET
James Suckling — — May 14, 2007 6:40pm ET
Mark Lewis — Napa — May 18, 2007 12:45am ET
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions