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La Romanée


Wine By Region Right Europe Right France Right Burgundy Right Côte de Nuits Right Vosne-Romanée Right La Romanée


La Romanée, the vineyard for which Vosne eventually was named, actually has the honor of being the smallest appellation in Burgundy. At only 2.1 acres, it is small by any vineyard's standards, and actually qualifies as both the smallest Grand Cru in Burgundy (smaller even than Romanée-Conti) and the smallest appellation in France!

Not surprisingly due to its size, La Romanée is a monopole, having been for many years the source of the flagship wine of Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair. Starting in 2002 the domaine started selling the wine itself, whereas beforehand it had been labeled Bouchard Pere et Fils. Considering the vineyard's size, only about half that of the #1 most expensive Burgundy wine, Romanée-Conti, it's no real surprise that La Romanée's price is $1,000 or more in most vintages. To its fans, who are many, this price is worthwhile, as it shows a side of Vosne-Romanée and indeed Burgundy itself that cannot be found anywhere else in the world.

The grand cuvée here is produced annually in a sum of only about 300 cases. Château Pétrus makes 2,500 cases of their grand vin. Considering that Pétrus is one of the most exclusive wines in the world, we can now understand the great expense of La Romanée. The reason for such low production is that only the grapes from the absolute best soil make it into the final product. In such a small vineyard, the absolute best soil is not much at all!

History

La Romanée's history is perhaps not as exciting as the other Vosne vineyards. In fact, it is somewhat overshadowed by Romanée-Conti itself with its eventful trades, sales, and split-ups, the land eventually becoming the property of the domaine that would become legendary.

La Romanée is not quite as interesting. For an extremely long time, presumably since its inception as a Grand Cru in 1936, it has been a monopole. The most interesting recent development was when Comte Liger-Belair decided to start making and labeling its own wines, which until then had been vinified and labeled by Bouchard Pere et Fils as a négociant service. Until 2006 wine of both labels was produced, which led to great confusion among consumers.

Climate and Viticulture

Due to the vineyard's small size, the climate is admirably consistent, making for wine of undeniable purity and harmony. This is single vineyard at its most sublime and exclusive--at its best, to put it another way. Situated right to the west of the great Romanée-Conti itself, the vineyard is a bit below Richebourg on the hill that houses all the great Vosne-Romanée vineyards. The vineyard itself isn't quite as sloped as Richebourg, but still has a good angle that certainly plays a part in imparting character to the wine.

Like all great vineyards, though, it's the soil that separates good from great. A remarkable combination of deep reserves of dark clay, interspersed with pure bits of limestone, the soil is something that could never be found in the USA, New Zealand, or, for that matter, anywhere else in Burgundy, and it's good enough so that it reflects its own style that, to its biggest fans, is distinctive and unconfusable.

Grape Varieties

Major Producers

Subregions

La Romanée is too small to have any subregions.