What is the best white Burgundy you’ve ever tasted? For many, that title belongs to Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet. This age-worthy, aromatic Chardonnay has fascinated wine collectors for decades and is one of the most valuable white wines in the world. Drinking DRC Montrachet is an unforgettable experience. One member of the Wine Berserkers forum said that he tried his first bottle of 1995 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet 12 years ago, and to this day remembers the incredible taste in perfect detail. He said, “It filled the room with other worldly aromatics.” Although he’s had many Montrachet wines since then, none made an impression on him like the 1995 DRC.
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet is consistently high in quality, but when you find an especially extraordinary vintage, the experience can be transformative. Moreover, these wines are as valuable as they are delicious. Like all Domaine de la Romanée-Conti labels, the Montrachet label increases in value as the wine ages, making it a great choice for collectors who want to resell their wine on the secondary market. There are many fantastic DRC Montrachet vintages to choose from; we’ll recommend the very best vintages–both recent and older–from this iconic label.
Why Collect Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet?
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet is unlike any other label the producer makes. To begin with, it’s the estate’s only white wine, made from some of the finest Chardonnay grapes in the region. Not only is the variety unusual for Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, but the grapes are also grown on some of the oldest vines the producer owns. The vines are 60 years old, on average, and it’s thought that older vines like these produce grapes that are more complex and more consistent than those grown on younger vines.
Montrachet is typically buttery, with tropical fruit flavors and great minerality.
The terroir also influences the flavor and quality of Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet. The estate acquired its first Montrachet plot–a small parcel located on the border of Puligny-Montrachet–in 1963. The producer later acquired two more plots (both near Domaine des Comtes Lafon). To make its Montrachet label, DRC uses the best grapes from all three plots in the final blend. The first plot the estate acquired is close to Bâtard-Montrachet. The grapes grown here are intense and very concentrated in flavor, producing full-bodied, powerful wines. By comparison, the grapes grown on DRC’s other two plots are slightly less concentrated and tend to produce wine that tastes more elegant and aromatic. By combining grapes from all three plots, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti is able to make a wine that is both elegant and full-bodied. Montrachet is typically buttery, with tropical fruit flavors and great minerality. It’s among the most complex white wines in the world and can age for many decades.
The estate only produces 250 cases of Montrachet every year, making it the rarest of all DRC labels.
Another reason why collectors should invest in Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet is that it’s rare and valuable. The estate only produces 250 cases of Montrachet every year, making it the rarest of all DRC labels. Coming in second is the flagship Romanée-Conti label; about 450 cases of Romanée-Conti are released every year, almost twice as many as Montrachet. This makes Montrachet a reliable investment for collectors who want to make a profit by reselling their bottles on the secondary market. Because so few of these wines are released each year, they increase exponentially in price as time goes on. For example, in 2017 the average price for 2008 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet was $5,077 per bottle. Today, that vintage is worth $8,137 per bottle, on average. And, as it’s a top-quality vintage, it’s expected to continue gaining in value.
When you invest in Montrachet from DRC’s best vintages, you have the option of tasting some of the greatest white Burgundy ever made, making a profit through resale, or both. To build your Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet collection, consider some of the following excellent vintages.
The Best Recent Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet Vintages
For a retrospective article in Vinous, Antonio Galloni tasted 21 different Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet vintages going back as far as 1982. One thing he noticed was that many recent vintages are especially high in quality. He said, “There is simply no question that the Montrachets from the 2000s and later are on an entirely different level compared to the wines of the 1980s and 1990s.” This may be due in part to the transition to biodynamic farming, which began in 1996. By the mid-2000s, all of DRC’s parcels were farmed biodynamically and winemakers took extra care to ensure that the quality of the grapes was as high as possible. This is one reason to invest in younger Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet vintages.
The following vintages are the most successful since 2000 (each received a score of at least 97 from the critic quoted):
- 2014 (98 points): Stephen Tanzer of Vinous said the vintage “finishes with outstanding gingery thrust and rising length, and the tannic structure of a red wine. A legend in the making.”
- 2012 (97 points): Antonio Galloni of Vinous says, “dense, rich, and exotic to the core, the 2012 is one of the more flamboyant Montrachets in recent memory.”
- 2011 (97 points): Robert Parker of The Wine Advocate said, “It is mercurial and utterly alluring. The palate is intense on the entry and immediately expresses a sense of vitality and tension.”
- 2010 (98 points): Antonio Galloni said, “One of my personal favorites, the 2010 Montrachet dazzles with its crystalline purity, tension and focus.”
- 2008 (98+ points): According to Robert Parker, “When I think of what I want Montrachet to be, it is this. The 2008 Montrachet is an aspirational wine in the very best sense.”
- 2007 (97 points): Robert Parker said, “Perfect acidity, jaw-dropping balanced and immense power, leading to a creamy finish where there is still some new oak to be subsumed. What a mesmerizing wine.”
- 2005 (98 points): Allen Meadows of Burghound writes, “For sheer vinous fireworks, this is hard to beat, and to call it a ‘wow’ wine would be a considerable understatement. However, note that plenty of time will be required and it will be one of the longest-lived vintages in recent memory.”
- 2003 (97 points): Parker writes, “A dense, layered, ample wine of awesome power, it is concentrated, spicy, and velvety-textured.”
This list of excellent recent vintages isn’t exhaustive and there are many other high-quality vintages that didn’t make it onto this list but are nonetheless worth investing in or drinking. For example, the 2013, 2009, 2006, 2004, 2002, 2001, and 2000 vintages all received scores of at least 90 points from reputable wine critics. They’re not praised as highly as the top vintages on the list, but they are still outstanding wines.
Buying Older Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet Vintages
Almost every Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet vintage in history is of excellent quality, but a few are still a cut above the rest. These older wines have aged perfectly over the decades and are still drinking well today:
- 1990 (100 points): James Suckling of Wine Spectator said, “So dense and layered with an amazing character of apples, cream, dried pineapples, and apricots. It’s full-bodied but not heavy, and there’s incredible energy in the wine that shocks you to the bone. Goes on for what seemed like hours on the palate. This is one of the greatest dry whites I have ever consumed.”
- 1989 (99 points): Robert Parker said, “If pure, honeyed thickness and glycerin are what you are looking for, there is not a more concentrated Chardonnay produced in the world.”
- 1986 (100 points): Parker writes, “This wine continues to rank as one of the most memorable white wines I have ever tasted. The wine’s viscosity, unctuousness, and extract level are mind-boggling. It represents the essence of Chardonnay, extremely full-bodied and concentrated, yet remarkably well-balanced in spite of its massive size.”
- 1978 (100 points): Master of Wine Jancis Robinson said, “The best dry white wine I have ever tasted. Lovely healthy deep gold. Fabuloso! Toasty yet appetizing. Very, very meaty. Putty and butterscotch and savory. Amazingly savory and subtle. Great, great weight, density, and subtlety yet no hint of heaviness. Amazing length.”
As with the other top vintage list, this list only includes vintages that received perfect or near-perfect scores from notable critics. Virtually every Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet vintage still around is worth drinking or reselling as long as it has been stored properly throughout its lifetime and hasn’t suffered from premature oxidation. One member of the Wine Berserkers forum describes a bottle he tasted of 1967 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet as indelibly etched into his memory. In other words, even if you can’t get your hands on wine from one of the years listed above, you really can’t go wrong with any Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet vintage.
How to Build a Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet Collection
Although DRC Montrachet generally makes a reliable investment, there are a few things you should keep in mind as you build your collection. First, vintages made in the 1990s tend to be lower in quality, on average, than those made more recently or in previous decades. This may be partly because the estate hadn’t yet made the switch to biodynamic farming. Poor weather and premature oxidation also negatively impacted some of these wines. If you plan on investing in any DRC Montrachet vintages from the 1990s, look up tasting notes for the specific vintage and research the wine’s provenance before buying.
Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet is a very long-lived wine, but only if it’s kept under ideal conditions.
This rule also applies to any vintage you purchase. Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet is a very long-lived wine, but only if it’s kept under ideal conditions. This is why it’s a good idea to keep your bottles in a professional storage warehouse. With the right care, your Montrachet collection will age flawlessly, allowing you to experience the full power of one of the world’s greatest white wines.
Whether you are starting your high-end wine collection or adding to an established portfolio, Vinfolio is your partner in buying, selling, and professional storage. Contact us today to get access to the world’s finest wine.