Assortment (L&W), Grand Cru, DRC

Note:

RC – What was a brooding, reserved, somewhat austere yet classic nose has become highly perfumed with picture perfect aromas of red and black fruits cut with lavish spice and aromatic nuances plus subtle touches of earth, soy and hoisin that combine to create a bouquet of simply stunning complexity. The purity and detail are flat out incredible with nuanced, multi-layered flavors wrapped in pinot sap and culminating in an awe-inspiring finish. Silk, velvet and mouth coating sap completely buffer the ripe structure and this RC possesses what all of the great ones do – absolutely perfect harmony; this is seamless and there are no edges. It is as it were a perfect sphere with a haunting finish that I could taste hours later. This too is destined to be a great wine and the key distinguishing aspect is its virtually unmatched transparency. There is certainly no vintage in the last 20 years with the possible exception of the 1996 that can match it in this regard. LT – While it`s hard to believe, the nose has become even more elegant with age and has retained its strikingly extravagant panoply of rose petals, oriental spices, pungent tea and leather notes plus ultra refined pinot fruit. The powerful, chiseled, pure flavors are remarkably detailed, precise and fine with mind bending complexity yet for all the emotional drama of this wine, it remains understated and almost aloof at the moment. The finish is dense, structured and still moderately firm though there is nary a hard edge to be found. In short, this beauty is aristocratic in every sense. I would add that for my taste, this has arrived at its peak though it should have no trouble holding for a number of years to come. Multiple and mostly consistent notes. RIC – (fashioned with 60% whole clusters). While this is showing some signs of aromatic development, it`s clear that this classically styled Richebourg has a long way to go before it`s ready for prime time. This still requires some coaxing before it reveals wonderfully complex aromas of a simply incredible array of black fruits, earth, spice, crushed herbs and notes of hoisin and clove that lead to focused and medium-bodied flavors that are supple, rich and impressively powerful, all wrapped in a superbly well-detailed and focused if overtly austere finish. I particularly like the almost pungent minerality and this particular vintage of DRC Riche is evolving quite slowly though my suggested initial drinking window of 2019+ still seems appropriate based on the most recent bottle. Tasted several times recently with very consistent notes. RSV – (opened from personal storage and thanks to Bruce Khouri). This displays a positively classic nose of soaring Asian spices, ripe plum and a gamut of ripe, pure and lacy red and black fruits with the latter predominating all wrapped together with a seductive kiss of sweetly scented, highly perfumed violets; the nose is, in a word, intoxicating. All of this aromatic intensity leads to remarkably powerful, linear and still taut flavors that show simply unbelievable complexity and stunning length. This will very likely surpass every other RSV from the Domaine in recent memory from a sheer aromatics perspective as the nose really is dazzling. For my taste this has just about arrived at the front end of its peak drinkability though it should hold easily for years to come. Consistent notes save for one bottle that seemed a bit edgy and drying and not at all like what I have described above. GE – (with thanks to Bruce Khouri; also opened from personal storage). All the promise this showed in my last review (see Issue 13) is alive and well and while the floral yet extremely earthy nose with elegant ripe, pure, intense, beautifully delineated crushed black fruit aromas is still quite expressive, the plum and anise laced broad-shouldered flavors that were closing down have begun to open once again. The finish displays firm, dusty, almost robust structure yet the tannins themselves seem refined and overall, this is an incredibly powerful wine, indeed even a forceful one but with no lack of class. There remains fine upside potential here and to that end I have slightly upgraded my score as this is a very special wine. I should note however that this has arrived at the stage of its evolution where it`s clearly not yet fully mature but it`s not so far away that it can`t be enjoyed, particularly if given 30 minutes of air first. Ech – Knockout sexy black fruit aromas trimmed in a deft touch of oak and distinct animale notes with expressive, full, pure, sweet and quite powerful flavors and a long, persistent, mouth coating finish. The amount of sève is impressive as is the sheer spiciness and this is a good deal more refined than it usually is. A great vintage for this wine.