LA ROMANEE

This month in Bangkok I hosted The Fine Wine Experience’s 3rd La Romanée vertical tasting dinner. That, Louis-Michel Liger-Belair’s generosity in hosting our team in the cellars of the Château de Vosne-Romanée from time to time to taste from barrel, and Gerhard Präsent’s extraordinary 40-vintage vertical of this wine in Graz, Austria 5 years ago, and this is a wine I have had the good fortune to get to know much better than I perhaps deserve (or could otherwise afford)!

All the more fortunate still when I consider that only 3000 to 4000 bottles of this are produced each year. And when you look at its diminutive 0.845ha plot in prime position in Vosne-Romanée, it’s a masterclass in itself in the exactness that has been achieved over the centuries in delimiting both quality and expression in Burgundy.

And that expression, at La Romanée? Here I find the up-slope adjacent 1er cru plot at ‘Aux Reignots’ instructive, especially since Liger-Belair also makes one of particularly high quality. Aux Reignots conveys some of the minerality and ‘coolness’ I find also present in La Romanée. Coolness? I suppose I’m trying to combine metaphorically elements present in Reignots – subtle aromas sometimes of brush, other times of moss, mineral notes, and a sense of freshness, as well something that gives me a more contemplative feeling, rather than something more exuberant.

For me, La Romanée sits somewhere between this sort of expression, and the more gently spicy expression of Romanée-Conti, while La Romanée’s texture, presence and length is much closer to Romanée-Conti’s – its immediate neighbor on the opposite side. Closer, but not the same, as La Romanée also has in common with Aux Reignots, I feel, something of its more tensile sense of durability.

Finally, in a way that only the ultimate in Burgundy reds can deliver, La Romanée is capable of delivering a kind of lift-off sensation, a feeling of intensity, clarity and purity that in other wines can only be delivered with the incumbency of palate weight. La Romanée is never heavy, and at times can feel (and leave you feeling) positively floating.

Louis Michel Liger-Belair is to be commended for taking back under family control his vinous inheritance. He has set out in a manner uncompromising for quality the development of La Romanée the vineyard, and La Romanée the wine. His aim is the highest potential it is capable of delivering – improving the health of the vineyard and fine-tuning the wine-making. It is hard to imagine in 2017 that in 2002 this was a risk, that it might not deliver economic success. But lovers of the finest Burgundy have recognized the efforts, and in addition to La Romanée, the other vineyards Louis Michel works are amongst the most sought after examples of their appellations.

In my view, only the 2004 of Liger-Belair’s La Romanée (which began with the 2002 vintage) is fully mature. Many of the others (e.g. 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007) will give pleasure today but have yet to reach their peak. In spite of that, and in spite of the rarity of these wines at the outset, it is not uncommon in our part of the world to see bottles opened and enjoyed. My point is not meant as a rebuke – each to their own. My point is that in future that will make a fully mature La Romanée experience an all the more rare one. As demand spreads through Asia for these coveted wines, now seems a good time to buy, and lay some down in your cellar.

And how do the examples made at Bouchard Père et Fils compare? Prior to 2002 the farming and winemaking at La Romanée was taken care of for the Liger-Belair family by Domaine Forey, and between 1976 and 2001 the élevage and bottling was taken care of by Bouchard. They were made in a time when different ideas were in favour. Despite Louis-Michel’s wines (2002<) offering more concentration, the Bouchard wines show a little bit more firmness in structure, and the oak signature, to my taste, is sweeter, but less nutty/spicy than Liger-Belair’s.

An interesting (and indulgent) exercise is to taste Bouchard’s and Liger-Belair’s La Romanée side by side in the 4 vintages (’02-’05) of overlap when Louis-Michel made all the wine, but took care of Bouchard’s portion according to Bouchard’s instructions (as is the Burgundy custom). I’ve had the chance to do this a few times. Differences can be subtle, and bottle variation can come into play, but overall I think Liger-Belair’s wines’ emphasise the vineyard’s seductive qualities, while the Bouchard bottles often bring to mind that ‘coolness’ I described already, a real freshness and minerality.

An interesting (and indulgent) exercise is to taste Bouchard’s and Liger-Belair’s La Romanée side by side in the 4 vintages (’02-’05) of overlap when Louis-Michel made all the wine, but took care of Bouchard’s portion according to Bouchard’s instructions (as is the Burgundy custom). I’ve had the chance to do this a few times. Differences can be subtle, and bottle variation can come into play, but overall I think Liger-Belair’s wines’ emphasise the vineyard’s seductive qualities, while the Bouchard bottles often bring to mind that ‘coolness’ I described already, a real freshness and minerality.

Today the Bouchard era bottles offer two advantages – they cost less, and they are in or are much closer to their drinking apogee. I am a big fan of their ‘95 (usually), and ‘93, ‘90 and ‘85 for example. The 1995 is a little tannic, but now expressive. I like it but would pass it up if I could have the 1993, which is ‘quietly spectacular’ (I noted) – so pure, deep, luminous, jewel-like, pure and expressive. The 1990 is a winner, and of all but one other of the vintages we tasted in Bangkok, it reminds me most of La Romanée-Conti in its open, sweet and fragrantly Oolong tea-like expression and silky palate-feel. The 1985 is even more lacy now, detailed, and clear, perhaps in the process of passing its absolute peak, with notes of Chinese “Chung Pi” (preserved mandarin peel), red fruit and milk chocolate entering the frame. It has a luxuriously silky feel.

The 1969 Camille-Giroud bottling of La Romanée we enjoyed showed wonderful purity, fragrance and a jellied fruit-like depth, but was upstaged by the sheer depth, complexity and near immortality that the 1962 Leroy example conveyed. The ’62 was voted wine of the night by those assembled, and on tasting it, one customer purchased all (37 bottles!) of our remaining stock. These had been late-released by Leroy in 2012, and unless Mme. Leroy has more to release in 2022, it is an opportunity unlikely to be repeated.
 
But in my view, the superiority of vintages made since Louis-Michel took control is now quite evident, and every serious Burgundy lover should – if you can afford them – have a few bottles tucked away. The ’62 from Leroy points the way for how these examples made since 2002 are going to be reviewed when they reach their peak. By then, finding (or affording) some will likely be all the more challenging.

Please take a look of our La Romanée selection below, all available in Hong Kong and ready to deliver.

Filter By
BH
86-94
Vintage Wine Bottle Size Unit of sale Qty of unit Qty of btl Btl price (HKD) Score Location
1993 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 1500 BOTTLE 1 1 13,000 BH86 HK
1995 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 750 OWC6 1 6 6,800 BH94 HK
1995 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 1500 BOTTLE 4 4 15,000 BH94 HK
1995 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 6000 BOTTLE 1 1 62,000 BH94 HK
1996 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 1500 BOTTLE 2 2 15,000 BH93 HK
1996 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 1500 OWC6 1 6 15,000 BH93 HK
1996 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 3000 BOTTLE 3 3 32,000 BH93 HK
1996 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 6000 BOTTLE 1 1 64,000 BH93 HK
1999 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 750 BOTTLE 6 6 9,800 BH96 HK
1999 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 750 OWC6 1 6 9,800 BH96 HK
2000 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 1500 BOTTLE 2 2 10,500 BH90-93 HK
2000 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 1500 OWC6 1 6 10,500 BH90-93 HK
2001 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 750 BOTTLE 37 37 5,500 BH91-94 HK
2001 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 750 BOTTLE 3 3 5,500 BH91-94 SHOP
2002 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 750 BOTTLE 5 5 9,800 BH95 HK
2003 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 750 BOTTLE 13 13 7,200 BH94 HK
2003 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 750 OWC6 2 12 7,200 BH94 HK
2003 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 1500 BOTTLE 7 7 16,500 BH94 HK
2003 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 3000 BOTTLE 1 1 35,000 BH94 HK
2003 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 3000 OWC1 2 2 35,000 BH94 HK
2003 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 6000 OWC1 2 2 72,000 BH94 HK
2004 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 1500 BOTTLE 3 3 12,000 BH92 HK
2004 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 6000 OWC1 1 1 54,000 BH92 HK
2004 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 1500 BOTTLE 2 2 12,000 BH92 SHOP
2004 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru 750 BOTTLE 10 10 5,500 BH92 HK-P
1993 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
1500 ml BOTTLE HK HKD 13,000 / BTL 1 BTL available
Bottle size
1500
Qty of unit
1
Qty of btl
1
Btl price (HKD)
13,000
Score
BH86
Location
HK
1995 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
750 ml OWC6 HK HKD 6,800 / BTL 1 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
1
Qty of btl
6
Btl price (HKD)
6,800
Score
BH94
Location
HK
1995 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
1500 ml BOTTLE HK HKD 15,000 / BTL 4 BTL available
Bottle size
1500
Qty of unit
4
Qty of btl
4
Btl price (HKD)
15,000
Score
BH94
Location
HK
1995 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
6000 ml BOTTLE HK HKD 62,000 / BTL 1 BTL available
Bottle size
6000
Qty of unit
1
Qty of btl
1
Btl price (HKD)
62,000
Score
BH94
Location
HK
1996 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
1500 ml BOTTLE HK HKD 15,000 / BTL 2 BTL available
Bottle size
1500
Qty of unit
2
Qty of btl
2
Btl price (HKD)
15,000
Score
BH93
Location
HK
1996 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
1500 ml OWC6 HK HKD 15,000 / BTL 1 case available
Bottle size
1500
Qty of unit
1
Qty of btl
6
Btl price (HKD)
15,000
Score
BH93
Location
HK
1996 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
3000 ml BOTTLE HK HKD 32,000 / BTL 3 BTL available
Bottle size
3000
Qty of unit
3
Qty of btl
3
Btl price (HKD)
32,000
Score
BH93
Location
HK
1996 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
6000 ml BOTTLE HK HKD 64,000 / BTL 1 BTL available
Bottle size
6000
Qty of unit
1
Qty of btl
1
Btl price (HKD)
64,000
Score
BH93
Location
HK
1999 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
750 ml BOTTLE HK HKD 9,800 / BTL 6 BTL available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
6
Qty of btl
6
Btl price (HKD)
9,800
Score
BH96
Location
HK
1999 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
750 ml OWC6 HK HKD 9,800 / BTL 1 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
1
Qty of btl
6
Btl price (HKD)
9,800
Score
BH96
Location
HK
2000 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
1500 ml BOTTLE HK HKD 10,500 / BTL 2 BTL available
Bottle size
1500
Qty of unit
2
Qty of btl
2
Btl price (HKD)
10,500
Score
BH90-93
Location
HK
2000 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
1500 ml OWC6 HK HKD 10,500 / BTL 1 case available
Bottle size
1500
Qty of unit
1
Qty of btl
6
Btl price (HKD)
10,500
Score
BH90-93
Location
HK
2001 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
750 ml BOTTLE HK HKD 5,500 / BTL 37 BTL available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
37
Qty of btl
37
Btl price (HKD)
5,500
Score
BH91-94
Location
HK
2001 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
750 ml BOTTLE SHOP HKD 5,500 / BTL 3 BTL available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
3
Qty of btl
3
Btl price (HKD)
5,500
Score
BH91-94
Location
SHOP
2002 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
750 ml BOTTLE HK HKD 9,800 / BTL 5 BTL available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
5
Qty of btl
5
Btl price (HKD)
9,800
Score
BH95
Location
HK
2003 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
750 ml BOTTLE HK HKD 7,200 / BTL 13 BTL available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
13
Qty of btl
13
Btl price (HKD)
7,200
Score
BH94
Location
HK
2003 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
750 ml OWC6 HK HKD 7,200 / BTL 2 case available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
2
Qty of btl
12
Btl price (HKD)
7,200
Score
BH94
Location
HK
2003 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
1500 ml BOTTLE HK HKD 16,500 / BTL 7 BTL available
Bottle size
1500
Qty of unit
7
Qty of btl
7
Btl price (HKD)
16,500
Score
BH94
Location
HK
2003 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
3000 ml BOTTLE HK HKD 35,000 / BTL 1 BTL available
Bottle size
3000
Qty of unit
1
Qty of btl
1
Btl price (HKD)
35,000
Score
BH94
Location
HK
2003 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
3000 ml OWC1 HK HKD 35,000 / BTL 2 case available
Bottle size
3000
Qty of unit
2
Qty of btl
2
Btl price (HKD)
35,000
Score
BH94
Location
HK
2003 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
6000 ml OWC1 HK HKD 72,000 / BTL 2 case available
Bottle size
6000
Qty of unit
2
Qty of btl
2
Btl price (HKD)
72,000
Score
BH94
Location
HK
2004 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
1500 ml BOTTLE HK HKD 12,000 / BTL 3 BTL available
Bottle size
1500
Qty of unit
3
Qty of btl
3
Btl price (HKD)
12,000
Score
BH92
Location
HK
2004 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
6000 ml OWC1 HK HKD 54,000 / BTL 1 case available
Bottle size
6000
Qty of unit
1
Qty of btl
1
Btl price (HKD)
54,000
Score
BH92
Location
HK
2004 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
1500 ml BOTTLE SHOP HKD 12,000 / BTL 2 BTL available
Bottle size
1500
Qty of unit
2
Qty of btl
2
Btl price (HKD)
12,000
Score
BH92
Location
SHOP
2004 Bouchard Pere et Fils - La Romanee Grand Cru
750 ml BOTTLE HK-P HKD 5,500 / BTL 10 BTL available
Bottle size
750
Qty of unit
10
Qty of btl
10
Btl price (HKD)
5,500
Score
BH92
Location
HK-P
The wines are offered subject to remaining unsold. Title to all wine remains with The Fine Wine Experience until paid for in full.
HK / HK storage; ready for delivery within 1-2 business days.
HK-Shop / available for in-store purchase in Sheung Wan.
HK Pre-arrival wines in transit to Hong Kong. Please contact us for arrival estimate.
En-Primeur / wines still in chateau; will arrange delivery to once wine is received in HK