Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Bastille Day and Domaine-de-la-Romanee Conti 2005 La Tache

Bastille Day. The day when every non French person wants to be French and go, ‘haw haw haw’ in a French accent.; we’ve all done it and we will do it again.

To mark this day, I will blog about what I think is France's, and most certainly the worlds greatest wine house, and what has been my wine highlight for the last 12 months, the 2005 Domaine-de-la-Romanee Conti La Tache. That’s right, you read it correct. What a wine I tell ya!!

I got to taste this last year when a group came in to the restaurant with BYO; bloody BYO I thought. Then they showed me the wines. The entire DRC 2005 – all of them!! Richebourg, Romanee St. Vivant, Romanee Conti, Echezeaux, Grands Echezeaux and the Montrachet. Along with these were also Lamy-Piot Montrachet, Etienne Sauzet Le Montrachet and Bourchard et Fels Montrachet. Bloody Hell!!

As the Sommelier at The Point, I was charged with opening all of these wines to taste and test; this was a definite perk of the job. It was a blind taste so then I had to wrap all the bottles in foil and carefully, very carefully, pour the wines in the appropriate glassware.

At the end of the evening, the group graciously gave me a more than fair sample of each wine where they asked my opinion of each wine. It was a unanimous vote that the DRC Montrachet was the pick of the night – sexy stuff I tell ya! With this done, some of the guests made way with what was left. What happened next still puts a smile on my face. The host said that I could take home what was left – fair dinkum.

That night I took home about a third of a bottle of the La Tache, a quarter of the RSV, a couple of mouthfuls of Romanee Conti, a third of Lamy-Piot and a third of the Etienne Sauzet; that’s a fair wet dream in anyone’s language. The thing was that some of the wine had already been poured in to a glass for me, with the bottles being thrown way by the other staff. All I could do was decant what was left in to whatever I could find; this took all of my MacGyver skills I had.

They were all falafalling brilliant!!! But alas, they did not last too long.

Today I am in Perth with my family, and alas, there will be no La Tache, but I am sure there will be something decent from Baron’s on Beaufort Street, but back to the wine.

There is only one word to do the nose true justice and that is mucho fantastico as the aromatic breadth here is simply stunning with red and black cherry, cassis, plum and subtle earth notes replete with the same Asian spice array of aromas as the RSV displays but here the floral aspect, particularly rose petal, is much more pronounced. After 2 hours it was even more amazing; super ripe aromas of cherry, currant, tobacco and smoky, nutty oak, with traces of vanilla and sweet butter.

On the palate, a vivid freshness of fruit, pungency of spice and flowers, and melting away of what in point of analytical fact are abundant tannins, all engender an almost white wine dynamic of fruit-mineral call-and-response and clear, incisive penetration of flavours to every recess of the mouth. Finishes with wonderfully broad, ripe tannins.

To quote the great Sammy Hagar of Van Halen, ‘That’s what dreams are made of....’ There is nothing else to say but bisou bosou.

Drink with anything you bloody well like
Drink till it finished


  1. Tim,

    What a superb and appropriate post for the 14th. I might bump into you at the aforementioned Perth bottle shop as it is close to home!

  2. I am so sending that onto my french fetishists... brilliant, love your passion for the plonk.
    As for the dispensing of such grand looking bottles.. mon dieu!!!
    Tres Bon Monsieur!
    merci... baguette...yoplait.