Feature Coverage

DRC’s Competitive Advantage

“Despite a challenging vintage, Domaine de la Romanée-Conti’s 2013s reflect both pedigree and terroir.

“It often happens in Burgundy chat the most beautiful wines are the prod­uct of difficult births. The 2013 vin­tage presented vintners with a host of difficulties, from poor flowering and weather conditions to hail and fungal diseases. Yet the terroir specific to Bur­gundy’s vines, especially the Pinot Noir, reconciled an uneasy relation­ship in the end, resulting in the kind of reds the region excels in-wines born more of light than heat.

“It was with this storyline in mind that Aubert de Villaine, co-director of DRC, presented the 2013 vintage in New York in March.

“‘2013 was among the most difficult, but also the most rewarding, of vin­tages,’ de Villaine began. ‘The great lesson of the vintage for me was chat no matter all the things that attack you, you cannot protect your vines completely if you farm biodynamically. But the grapes resist and are able to adapt and work in conjunc­tion with the vintage.’

“The flowering, which began on June 25, was three weeks late and struggled; thus, the vintage was destined for a small yield from the start. The summer, especially July, witnessed severe storms. By the end of September, the grapes were almost fully ripe, but botrytis was advancing. Then cold weather set in and retarded its spread. In the end, it was a lace harvest with roughly half the crop of a normal year.

“At the New York event, the wines tasted lean and austere, though clearly distinctive and representative of their climats. By contrast, when I tasted them out of barrel at the domaine in Janu­ary 2015, they were fruity and charming, showing fine balance. I took both of these tastings into account in evaluating the overall potential of the wines…”


Bruce Sanderson, June 30, 2016
DRC’s Competitive Advantage