Grand Cru Monopole Burgundy Tasting

Thursday, June 7, 2018 - 07:30 PM

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"Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine." 
Genesis 27:28


Unfortunately, god did not give us plenty of Domaine de La Romanee Conti.  One of the reasons that this is one of the most expensive wines on the planet earth is that they only make just over a thousand cases of each of these Grand Cru wines from any vintage.  The other reason is that they have had a thousand years of marketing in the wine industry.  There are not many regions of the wine world that have the history of Burgundy's Cote D'Or and with that history comes a very high price tag.

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Burgundy is simple in that there are only 2 grapes grown here, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay but there are over 600 villages making it incredibly confusing.  With all the different villages here there are only 4 that are categorized as Grand Cru Monopole.  Monopole means that there is only a single producer that makes wine from this vineyard and Grand Cru means that the dirt here is considered to be the most unique conducive to making KILLER juice every year.  We have 3 of the 4 Grand Cru monopoles on the table tonight and the only reason that we don't have Romanee Conti (other than it would add another zero on to the price of this event) is because I am saving all of the bottles that I own for my 50th B-day party on March 2nd 2019.  I have been collecting 1969 vintage wines for this occasion and my goal is to have all of the 7 wines from The Domaine de la Romanee Conti on the table for this event so far I have secured Romanee Conti, Richebourg, Echezeaux and La Tache.  In fact we just got a few bottles of the 1969 La Tache in so I figured we should try one of them to get a preview on how this wine is drinking before the big tasting next March.

I have also included a few vintages of Clos Du Lambrays which is almost owned entirely by one person, this property was recently acquired by Bernard Arnault the owner of LVMH.  The remaining tenth of an acre of Clos des Lambrays belongs to Domaine Taupenot-Merme. Co-owner and winemaker Romain Taupenot said that any dream Arnault might have of a monopoly will have to wait. "If Bernard Arnault would like to sell to us a part of the Clos des Lambrays that he just bought, we would obviously be ready to listen," said Taupenot as quoted in the Wine Spectator.

This is a truly "Once in a Lifetime" wine tasting opportunity and the food will also be amazing at this event with the Foie Gras stuffed Fried Chicken Coq Au Vin is one of our first signature dishes at the Wine Watch Wine Bar.  The price to attend this event is $450 + tax per person and there are only 12 spaces available at this event, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail

Romanee Conti La Tache.jpgImage result for 2002 Mommessin Clos De TartImage result for 1999 Domaine Lamarche Vosne Romanee La Grande Rue Grand Cru Monopole

Grand Cru Monopole Burgundy Tasting
Because if you have these wines you need to drink them!!
Thursday, June 7th

Romanee Conti La Tache.jpg

1969 DRC La Tache Grand Cru Monopole
List Price $3500.00    Sale Price: $2800.00    Quantity in Stock: 2

(94 points) "A healthy, medium to dark garnet color with considerable rust and brown at the edge is typical of a 26-year old, high class red Burgundy. A pungent, smoked duck, Asian spice, sweet, red and black fruit, caramel-like bouquet explodes from the glass. If there is ever a wine that can be said to reek of terroir, it is this 1969. From one of the more structured vintages in the last 25 years (let's hope the finest 1993s turn out this well), this fully mature, medium to full-bodied La Tache still retains some tannin. It is beautifully sweet, expansive, and rich, with complex aromatics. If the flavors deliver outstanding ripeness and complexity, the tannin in the more rustic finish is obtrusive. I would not push this wine's longevity curve any further given the fact that this example was from a magnum in pristine condition. It is a terrific La Tache that proves that in some instances, great red Burgundy can last for 25+ years." (08/95) Robert Parker

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1995 Mommessin Clos de Tart Grand Cru Monopole
Price: $395.00    Sale $347.60        Quantity in Stock: 3

(92 points) Displaying a medium-to-dark ruby color and a lovely nose of spicy red berries, cracked black pepper, Asian spices, and distinctive notes of cedar, this is a medium-to-full-bodied, velvety-textured, and complex wine. Its enthralling flavor profile offers layers of rich black pepper-laced blueberries and blackberries that are intensely spiced with cinnamon, juniper berries, and hints of eucalyptus. (PR) (8/1998) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

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1999 Domaine Lamarche Vosne Romanee La Grande Rue Grand Cru Monopole
Price: $495.00    Sale Price: $395.00    Quantity in Stock: 6

(94 points) This has gone from strength to strength and only seems to get better with each passing year. A lightly menthol-infused nose that is exceptionally ripe yet stops short of being surmature remains almost 100% primary with ample black fruit and spice aromas seamlessly merging into the rich, full and intense flavors brimming with power and muscle yet this by no means lacks for grace or elegance on the reserved but driving finish. I really like the amount of dry extract here as it relegates the still firm tannins to the background and this should age effortlessly for years to come. Drink: 2017+ (4/2008) Allen Meadows - Burghound

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2011 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru Monopole (375ml)
Price: $97.50    Your Price: $85.80    Quantity in Stock: 10

Clos Du Lambrays is the closest thing to a Grand Cru Monopole in the Cotes De Nuits as it is almost owned entirely by one person.  This property was recently acquired by Bernard Arnault the owner of LVMH.  Clos des Lambrays is an enclosed vineyard of almost 21.5 acres near the village of Morey-St.-Denis.   Domaine des Lambrays owns 21.4 acres of the clos, which dates back to the 14th century and was once part of the vast holdings of the Abbey of Citeaux.  The remaining tenth of an acre of Clos des Lambrays belongs to Domaine Taupenot-Merme.

2012 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru
Price: $225.00    Your Price: $198.00    Quantity in Stock: 1

(94 points)  A markedly floral nose exhibits a broad array of spice and red and dark berry fruit aromas that include plum, cassis and earth. There is excellent detail and plenty of punch to the mineral-inflected flavors that are shaped by ultra-refined tannins on the balanced and gorgeously persistent finish that is firm and serious but not really especially austere. This is seriously good with a lovely sense of harmony plus the perfect balance suggests that this will mature over a very long time. (1/2015)  Allen Meadows - Burghound

2013 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru
Price: $240.00    Your Price: $211.20    Quantity in Stock: 19

(92-95 points) (production of the estate's grand cru was just 25 hectoliters per hectare in 2013, according to Brouin): Healthy bright red. A sexy earthy perfume makes for a deep, mellow nose; smells thick! Then lush and deep on the palate, but with surprising energy and shape to the highly complex flavors of cherry, clove, espresso, dried flowers, licorice pastille, underbrush and minerals. Wonderfully plush and voluminous without any excess weight. The penetrating finish is gripping and very long. Superb, terroir-driven grand cru with a long future ahead of it. (1/2015) Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

2014 Domaine des Lambrays Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru
List Price: $240.00      Sale $211.20
Quantity in Stock: 17

(93-95 points) The 2014 Clos des Lambrays Grand Cru is matured in 50% new oak and is 100% whole bunch fruit. It is blessed with a winsome bouquet. As usual, there is something very natural, unimposing and refined on the nose: blackberry and briary, a hint of graphite, a subtle leafiness maybe, and yet delineated and very pure. The palate is lively and energetic with crisp tannin, black rather than red fruit, linear and very classic in style with what you might call a "cool" marine-influenced finish that has fine salinity. What a great Clos des Lambrays that will put a smile on the face of those that adore refined Burgundy. Thierry Brouin has one year remaining as winemaker at Domaine de Lambrays and then a contractual two years as a consultant. "I'll be 70 by then," he told me with a Gallic shrug of the shoulders. "It's time for new blood." What with Sylvain Pitiot's retirement from Clos des Tart, it appears that a chapter in Morey-Saint-Denis is closing and a new one will be opening. The question is: will the next chapter be as good a read as the last? I hope so. (NM) (12/2015) Robert Parker's Wine Advocate


2015 Domaine des Lambrays Clos Des Lambrays Grand Cru
Price: $300.00    Your Price: $264.00    Quantity in Stock: 14

(96 points) The 2015 Clos des Lambrays includes ninety-five percent whole clusters this year and is a stunning wine in the making. The bouquet is deep, pure and very expressive out of the blocks, soaring from the glass in a blaze of black plums, sweet cassis, espresso, woodsmoke, gamebird, raw cocoa, a great base of dark soil tones and a nice framing of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and rock solid at the core, with laser-like focus, great balance and grip and a very long, fine-grained and vibrant finish. This will take at least a decade to blossom, but it will be a great wine in the fullness of time. (1/2017) John Gilman


Deconstructed Coq Au Vin Fried Chicken Breast stuffed with Foie Gras and Black Truffles
Cherries in Puff Paistry with warm epoisses sauce

There are only 12 spaces available for this event and the fee for this "Once in a Lifetime" Grand Cru Monopole Burgundy tasting is only $450 + tax for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail

A bit about Domaine de La Romanee Conti:

Probably one of the most sought after wines by collectors of fine Burgundies are the wines of Domaine De La Romanée Conti (also called simply DRC).  They carry a sort of mystique about them that you only find in collectibles such as a Picasso, or a Rembrant- things that only an elite few can afford to own and even fewer really appreciate.  

Talk of Lafite or Mouton or the upstart Petrus pales in significance when one considers that this precious piece of earth was a sacred spot five centuries before the first words were ever written about claret.  Consider, for example, the significance of that crisp, fall day in 1241 when the landscape was red with the color of wine, and the air was laden with the smell of it.  The monks gathered in their Abbey at the Vosne and decided to sell the vineyard of Romanée-Conti.  They had owned it for almost 200 years and it was a monumental event when it returned to private hands.  Over the ensuing centuries, inheritance laws and the wave of anti-clericism that followed the French Revolution caused the great growths of Burgundy to be divided into a thousand meager plots.  So sacred was the vineyard of Romanée-Conti, that it never once sub-divided through nine changes of ownership.

The vineyard was once called La Romanée until it was purchased by the Prince de Conti in 1760.  De Conti acquired the vineyard only after a great struggle.  The other contestant was King Louis the Fourteenth’s mistress, Madame de Pompadour.  The prince held a banquet to celebrate the acquisition; underscoring the significance of the event was the fact that it was attended by figures such as Jean-Jacques Rousseau; even a very young Mozart was there to play the harpsichord.  When the Conti fled France during the revolution, Romanée-Conti changed hands several more times – among its owners was Napoleon’s banker.

Today’s proprietors, the Leroys and the De Villaines, have run the Domaine jointly since 1942.  After an emotional power struggle, Aubert De Villaine, who has co-managed the Domaine for 19 years, has emerged from the shadows of the ubiquitous and flamboyant Madame Bize Leroy (who was booted out by the De Villaines and other members of the Leroy family for alleged conflicts of interest).

Many critics, in describing these wines, talk of the continuity of house style and the winemaking genius of the Domaine.  The quietly purposeful Aubert De Villaine takes a little credit for the greatness of these wines.  He speaks of the “genius of the terroir” and of the Domaine’s efforts to keep the winemaking as simple and natural as possible.  American viticulturists may think they have a corner on organic farming, but De Villaine notes that the Domaine’s wines are 100 percent organic.  There are no sprays or pesticides used in the vineyard.  Although De Villaine pays homage to technology and talks of clonal research, he stresses that everything is done to ensure as little manipulation of the wine is done as possible.  Except for the 100 percent new oak, which is used with every one of the Domaine’s wines and the fact that as of 1995 the wines are no longer bottled by barrel (which critics claimed caused bottle variation), one gets the impression that things are done much in the same manner as they were 100 years ago.  De Villaine is succinct:  “There is more to be learned in what not to do than there is in what to do.  Nothing is more difficult than to be simple”.

There are some wine writers that feel there is somewhat of a secret when it comes to the wines of this fabled estate.  Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate has stated that the Domaine’s use of lightly toasted François Frères barrels (the preferred source for most of the great estates of the Côte d’Or), which are air dried for three years prior to use, could have something to do with it.  However, Bernard Noblet, the cellar master, has assured that they are neither steam cleaned nor are they rubbed with any special ointments as speculation has suggested. 

La Tâche is entirely owned by Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, a fact that makes it a "monopole."  The domaine has exclusive rights on a second vineyard -- the grand cru Romanee-Conti itself.  It's almost joined at the hip with La Tache; they are within a stone's throw of one another. And just like the great grands crus from the Côte d'Or, Burgundy's "golden slope," both vineyards are well-drained and exposed to the east-southeast; both tilt down gently on the hillside toward the stone walls surrounding Vosne-Romanee.  This village lies in the center of the Cote de Nuits, and its grands crus are the sirloin cut of red Burgundy country: no sinewy tannins, just a marbling of smooth texture.  The wines made here are famous for their spicy, perfumy nose, highlighted by cinnamon and earthy notes that rely more on spices than red or black fruits.

Everything we have in the store from these producers.

1978 Domaine De La Romanee Conti Romanee Conti Grand Cru
Price: $25000.00    Sale Price: $20000.00  Quantity in Stock: 1

A classic vintage for Burgundy and we drank this wine at our Romanee Conti vertical just a few years ago, it was the wine of the night next to the 1959- which was also spectacular.

1990 Domaine de La Romanee Conti Romanee Conti Grand Cru
Price: $1009995   Your Price: $15950.00   Quantity in Stock: 1
(This bottle has a slightly lower fill and a nick on the label)

1990 Domaine de La Romanee Conti Romanee Conti Grand Cru
Price: $23500.00    Your Price: $20680.00 Quantity in Stock: 1

Tasting note: (bottled barrel by barrel). Medium ruby color. Initially, this is aromatically tight and closed but after 2 hours in the glass, it absolutely explodes from the glass with a breathtaking panoply of Asian spices, exotic fruit aromas and a touch of earth followed by rich, lush, almost opulent flavors that melt in the mouth and coat the palate with a layer of velvet on the fantastically long finish.

Robert Parker review:  (98 points) The 1990 Romanee-Conti should ultimately be the most compelling and complex of the DRC wines. Normally it possesses a lighter color than either La Tache or Richebourg, but in 1990 it boasts a surprisingly saturated color that is the equal of La Tache and Richebourg. The nose offers up sweet, clove, cinnamon, and blackberry aromas intermingled with toasty, smoky new oak. Lavishly rich and full-bodied, with abundant tannins, this profound, surprisingly large-scaled, tannic wine boasts more muscle than usual. Let's hope that the billionaires that buy it have as much taste as money. Anticipated maturity: 2000-2025 .

The DRC 1990s, all of which were bottled in April/May, are among the deepest colored wines from this domaine that I have tasted in the last decade. Moreover, they are firmly structured, with significant tannins from both the vintage and from the aging in 100% new oak barrels. For the fortunate few who have had the discretionary income to afford the other great vintages of the DRC from the eighties, 1980, 1983, 1985, 1988, and 1989, the question is - are the 1990s superior? I am not sure they are any better than the 1980s, 1985, and 1988s, but they undoubtedly represent a classic, concentrated, long-lived style of wine. Moreover, all of these wines should have a more graceful evolution and broader window of drinkability than the tannic 1988s, as well as potentially greater longevity than the succulent and opulent 1985s. All of these offerings are outstanding, with that tell-tale complex, exotic fragrance that the DRC routinely achieves. Wine Advocate #83 Oct 1992

1995 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Romanée-Conti Grand Cru
Price: $23000.00    Sale Price: $19000.00  Quantity in Stock: 1

(98 Points) Sensational, very serious. Clearly a vin de garde… Displays lovely rose petal, violet, tar aromas followed by plum, black cherry & cassis flavors. Loads of ripe tannins leads to a sweet-tasting finish that won't quit. The best Romanee-Conti in years.”  Wine Spectator

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1996 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche OWC 6pk
Price: $27000.00                Quantity in Stock: 1

“profound nose (of) awesomely ripe red and black fruits, raw meat and Asian spices ... full-bodied, wide, thick, focused, harmonious and intense…amazingly powerful layers of candied black cherries and blackberries. exceptionally long finish.”    Wine Advocate

1978 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche Grand Cru
Price: $9000.00    Sale Price: $6000.00       Quantity in Stock: 2

1982 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti La Tâche Grand Cru
Price: $4100.00    Sale Price: $3400.00       Quantity in Stock: 2

1990 Domaine de la Romanee Conti La Tache Grand Cru
Price: $6950.00    Your Price: $6116.00      Quantity in Stock: 2

(100 Points)  I cannot think of a more profound, young red Burgundy tasted than DRC's 1990 La Tache. Although it still requires another 3-4 years of cellaring, it is incredibly endowed, with an extraordinary perfume of Asian spices as well as jammy black raspberries, cherries, and blackberries infused with smoke, toast, and dried herbs. Full-bodied, but ethereal, with layers of flavor, as well as mind-boggling delicacy and complexity, this youthful La Tache will be at its finest between 2004-2015., Feb 2002

2006 Domaine de la Romanee Conti La Tache
Price: $4500.00    Your Price: $3960.00      Quantity in Stock: 1
Tasting note: While young La Tache has the reputation of always being highly expressive aromatically, even explosive, there are some vintages where this tendency is more muted and 2006 is one of these. The positively gorgeous if presently reserved nose offers up the hallmark spice and floral components that are broad and deep though requiring some real glasswork to coax out but it's worth the effort as the nose here, restrained or not, is brilliant. The big and generous flavors are an exercise in contrasts as they are at once round and rich while remaining wonderfully defined and precise with more minerality coming to the fore than any of the prior wines displayed, all wrapped in a linear, precise and palate staining finish that not withstanding the initial aromatic reserve, is indeed explosive. This is already harmonious and the transparency and purity of expression are something to see. While I do not argue that the '06 La Tâche rivals vintages like '99 or '05, there is something special about this one that causes me to already be in love with it. In a word, magnificent and now that it is in bottle, my original description needs no modification except perhaps to observe that this is a Zen-like vintage for La Tâche as it is very calm and deliberate in demeanor. Tasted: Jan 01, 2009 Score: 96 Drink: 2026+,  Issue 33

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 2002 Mommessin Clos De Tart
Price: $550.00    Sale Price: $425.00           Quantity in Stock: 3

(93 Points) A big red, round and sappy, exhibiting black cherry, kirsch and sweet spice aromas and flavors. Picks up some chocolate and smoke midpalate, with the richness and exuberant fruit of the vintage. Fine length; needs time to absorb the oak and tannins. Best from 2005 through 2010. 350 cases imported. “BS Wine Spectator Issue: Sep 30, 2004

2003 Mommessin Clos De Tart Grand Cru
Price: $540.00    Sale Price: $375.00           Quantity in Stock: 4

(95 Points) Aromas of tar and smoke, with very pure, concentrated blackberry and spice notes underneath mark this exotic, seductive red. Silky and complex, it caresses the palate. It needs a little time to absorb the oak, but this is long and has great potential. Best from 2009 through 2030. 1,250 cases made. –BS Wine Spectator Collectibles  Issue: May 15, 2006, Top 100 Wine, Year: 2006 Rank: 82

2004 Mommessin Clos de Tart Grand Cru
Price: $325.00    Your Price: $286.00          Quantity in Stock: 2

(91 Points) A discreetly oaky overlay frames ripe spicy blackberry, dark cherry and a hint of forest floor aromas that lead to rich, full, sweet, thick and powerful flavors that culminate in a linear and penetrating finish. This is a relatively big and concentrated effort that offers a really attractive sense of underlying tension and energy. Tasted: Jan 01, 2007 Drink: 2014+ Issue 25

2005 Mommessin Clos Du Tart Grand Cru Magnum
Price: $1596.00    Your Price: $1404.48      Quantity in Stock: 1

2005 Mommessin Clos Du Tart Grand Cru
Price: $700.00    Sale Price: $495.00           Quantity in Stock: 1

(94 Points) Sylvain Pithiot and his team “ whom I did not have a chance to visit in person “ scored an impressive success with this venerable Mommessin monopole. For a Burgundy of over 14% alcohol, the 2005 Clos de Tart exhibits remarkably cool aromas of blueberry, greenhouse vegetation and flowers, smoked meats, and sea breeze. Nor does its silken-textured, blue- and black-fruited palate impression, while voluminous, evince any heat. Juicy in fruit, savory, saline, and stony throughout, this wine finishes with a lasting impression of concentrated fresh blueberry and blackberry, along with stony, alkaline minerality and black pepper-dusted smoked duck. Wine Advocate

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