It is the most prestigious of names in the world – however, the Romanée-conti icon is the fruit of a vineyard that is small in size but mighty in history.
The iconic Romanée-conti cuvée lies on the oldest and most famous estate of Bourgogne. Perched above the village of Vosne-Romanée, at the heart of beautiful limestone grounds, the estate extends over 25 hectare – on the other hand, the vineyard dedicated to the production of Romanée-conti is only 1,81 hectares. This great red wine owes its reputation to its story as well as its centennial culture, founded on the principles of biodynamic farming.
“There are no predestined great vineyards, only the stubbornness of civilisations” says Aubert de Villaine, co-owner and co-director of the domaine. The story then: Since the time of Louis XIV the wine of Romanée was prescribed by the King’s doctor, Guy Crescent Fagon against his persistent stomach aches. However, it is Prince de Conti that would make it gain its reputation. His aesthete eye and affirmed palate saw in it more than a wine of ivresse – it was to him a true work of art.
“He gave his name to the wine for the simple reason that it was served only at his personal table” tells Aubert de Villaine. Yes, appreciated for a long time by Louis-François de Bourbon, previously called the Prince de Conti, he acquired it for ten times the price of a very sought after cru, the Clos de Bèze. From then, the production of Romanée-conti would be extremely limited. The grand cru is just like a great work of art. It is a victim of falsification.
A wine stamped DRC excites experts, oenologists and counterfeiters. Its quasi-ineffable refinement is made to accompany the greatest moments of life. Great dinners, too. Shared amongst family or guests, the Romanée-conti slides into wine cards of great restaurants but under one condition: that the bottle is destroyed after consumption. So that it cannot be falsified. How much is a Romanée-conti bottle worth? The production, searching for an absolute ideal, make the few bottles in circulation reach astronomical heights. In June 2018, 76,300 euros for a 1999 jeroboam. Never has a bottle been sold for such a high price. But art responds to no commercial logic. Something with which to accompany moments of exceptional ravishment, is it not?