Learning One’s DRC’s (Part I of DRC tasting)

Wine tasting in Silicon Valley: On a recent visit to Silicon Valley, I had the good fortune to attend a tasting of various vintages of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s La Tâche and Richebourg bottlings (’78, ’85, ’90, ’93) as well as other Burgundian treats. This surreal sampling of priceless gems provided a glimpse of life atop the Everest of vinous experience.

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For the uninitiated, three nuggets to know:

1) Domaine de la Romanée Conti is the ne plus ultra producer of red Burgundy and one of the world’s marquee names in wine.

2) The finest bottlings of mature Burgundy taste like nothing like your garden variety New World Pinot Noir (the sole grape comprising red Burgundy), instead offering a shifting kaleidoscope of berries, violets, rose petals, smoke, bacon, earth, and Asian spices.

3) Not every DRC selection we tasted lived up to the the producer’s aura and the wine’s astronomical price tag, proving that a wine’s deliciousness is not always corrolated with its prestige.  For example, the 1993 Richebourg, at least at this point in its development, had a somewhat muted nose and considerable tannic astrigency.  On the other hand, the 1978 La Tâche and the 1978 Richebourg were, well, simply electrifying, as was the 1985 Richebourg and the 1990, and the…

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