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The last few months of maturation in cask have moved the 2019 La Tâche from being a superb wine to be one that is essentially flawless. The wine, which already showed great intensity of black and red berry fruit and a complex web of terroir and secondary aromas, has blossomed and shed a skein of reduction to shine forth its aromas and to show boundless generosity in its impressive density and structure. All of the components work together to produce a wine that is satisfying even now but which will continue to improve for many decades to come. Drinking Window 2025 - 2065.
The 2019 La Tâche Grand Cru is sublime. Mingling aromas of wild berries and bergamot with notions of rose petals, exotic spices, violets, clove and cinnamon, it's full-bodied, deep and concentrated, with a multidimensional palate of breathtaking plenitude. Elegantly muscular, this is a vibrant, pristinely balanced wine that concludes with a long, resonant finish. More structured and broader shouldered than the ethereal Romanée-Conti itself, this will demand and richly reward bottle age. This was a particularly memorable tasting at the Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. Revisiting the bottled 2019s was thrilling, as these are some of the most sensual, dramatic young wines I've ever tasted at this address; and the young 2020s, tasted from barrel (with the exception of several cuvées that had been recently racked), show immense potential too. A few small evolutions have been made in the cellars in the last few years, with Tonnellerie La Grange increasingly in evidence alongside historically dominant François Frères on the red side of the ledger, and barrels from Séguin Morey, Damy and Taransaud to be found in the new room devoted to the domaine's white wines. Bottling is also a touch earlier than in the past.
A classic and super-fresh La Tâche nose is also quite restrained and only grudgingly offers up a kaleidoscopic range of spice elements that are laced with a wonderful array of floral nuances on the red and dark berry fruit scents. There is superb detail to the muscular big-bodied flavors that brim with both minerality and dry extract before culminating in an explosively long, balanced, youthfully austere and harmonious finish. This is sleek, classy and powerful plus it is packed with development potential though a wine that’s going to require many decades to fully resolve the very firm lashing to supporting tannins. The 2019 LT reminds me of such recent vintages as the 2015, 2010 and 1999 but it may in fact ultimately surpass all of them, which is really saying something. In short, this too is absolutely brilliant.
The 2019 La Tâche Grand Cru was picked over three days from 16 to 18 of September at 23hL/ha. Like the Romanée-Saint-Vivant, this wine gives you no choice but to sit and contemplate. The bouquet is beautifully-defined, broody and introspective at first, less immediate than the Romanée-Saint-Vivant, then after 10 minutes it becomes highly perfumed with potpourri and rose petals, dark berry fruit, perhaps just a hint of liquorice. The palate is medium-bodied, extraordinarily well-defined and pure. There is a touch more spice compared to recent vintages, a pinch of white pepper lingers on the tongue for a minute after the wine has exited. There is real structure to this La Tâche and my intuition is that this will close for a period during its long arching evolution in bottle. 994 cases produced. Tasted at Corney & Barrow’s annual in bottle tasting in London.
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