Category Archives: History

Vosne-Romanée & Its Unparalleled Premier Crus

Vosne-Romanée & Its Unparalleled Premier Crus

Map of Vosne-Romanee

Few appellations in France can compete with the reputation of Vosne-Romanée. Its wines—particularly the Grand Crus—are the stuff of legends and the stars of countless auctions. Today, I’d like to take some time to explore this celebrated appellation, and to look specifically at how its unique composition and classification scheme make it not only one of the best sites for Grand Cru Burgundy, but one of the finest caches of Premier Cru vineyards as well.

The village of Vosne-Romanée has been making quality wines for over a thousand years. Pinot Noir vines were first planted near the village (then called Vaona) in the fifteenth century by the monks of Saint-Vivant; however, it wasn’t until the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries that the commune gained its reputation. It was then that the famed prince of Conti arrived and purchased the area’s Grand Cru parcel of vineyards now known as Romanée-Conti. Word spread of the quality of the prince’s wine (reserved for his extravagant private parties), and in 1866, Emperor Napoleon III allowed the recently renamed comune of Vosne to add the name of the celebrated Grand Cru vineyard to its title. Thus, Vosne-Romanée was born.

Modern Vosne-Romanée is a relatively small appellation comprised of about 160 hectares of vineyards (not including Flagey-Echézeaux). Its finest terroir is located just above the village on a gently sloping hill of chalky marl clay with excellent drainage. Its 6 Grand Cru vineyards total up to a mere 28 hectares, with the rest of its excellent terroir designated as Premier Cru or village (the difference between a Grand Cru vine and a simple village vine can sometimes be a matter of inches). These non Grand-Cru vineyards often exceed their classification. In the words of Jasper Morris MW, “…among the premiers crus there are more candidates for promotion than demotion, and the village wines are usually sound and sometimes distinguished. No other appellation in Burgundy can combine the intensity of flavor with the refinement that typifies the fine wines of Vosne-Romanée” (Inside Burgundy).

Below, you’ll find further information on three Vosne-Romanée Premiers Crus that span the range of what the appellation has to offer, as well as links to wines from these sites that are available in our upcoming A Celebration of Burgundy auction. View a complete list of all Premier Cru and village Vosne-Romanée wines available in our auction here.

Les Suchots

At 13.08ha, Suchots is the largest Premier Cru within Vosne-Romanée. The climat abuts Richebourg and Romanée-St.-Vivant with Echézeaux just to the North—one of only a handful of interruptions in the near continuous stretch of Grand Cru vineyards between Nuits-Saint-Georges and Gevrey-Chambertin. Similar to Echézeaux in terroir, Suchots benefits from a combination of warm morning sun and cool winds, while its sloped, lime-stone-rich soil allows for good drainage. The resulting wines feature a beautiful balance of richness and acidity.

Suchots in our upcoming A Celebration of Burgundy auction

Aux Malconsorts  

Hudelot-Noellat Malconsorts2012_3L

Malconsorts consists of 5.86ha located on the top of the hill above Vosne-Romanée. Often called the most underrated Vosne Premier Cru, Malconsorts shares a border with La Tâche, and its terroir is very similar to that of the famed Grand Cru. Its southern position and exposure make its wines the most powerful and enduring of all of the Vosne-Romanée Premiers Crus. It is a favorite Premier Cru among many wine critics and connoisseurs.

Malconsorts in our upcoming A Celebration of Burgundy auction

 

 

Cros Parantoux

Jayer Cros Parantoux

Cros Parantoux is one of the most sought-after vineyards in Burgundy thanks largely to the work of Henri Jayer. A tiny 1.01ha of land that sits just atop Richebourg, this climat consists of shallow, rocky soil on an incline. The rocks in its soil made it so difficult to work with that winemakers abandoned it for nearly a century following the phylloxera crisis. In fact, when Henri Jayer replanted it following the Second World War, he had to use explosives to blast holes for replacement vines. His efforts, however, paid off—the rocky soil leads to wines of strikingly beautiful minerality with fantastic aging potential.

Cros Parantoux in our upcoming A Celebration of Burgundy auction

 

Juicy Details with David Larson: Brunello

Juicy Details with David Larson: Brunello

For this edition of Juicy Details, we continue our conversation about Sangiovese and focus on one of Italy’s greatest wines: Brunello di Montalcino. Few expressions of Sangiovese are more powerful or elegant than Brunello at its best. Brunello was essentially created by Biondi-Santi in 1888, meaning it is a youngster in the world of wine.Continue Reading

Madeira

Madeira

With days getting shorter and temperatures steadily falling, we are just now entering into the best time of year for fortified wines. For most wine lovers, that means vintage port; but you would be doing yourself a disservice if you did not at least consider Madeira as well. This small island off of the coastContinue Reading

Producer Profile: Château Pichon Lalande

Producer Profile: Château Pichon Lalande

In addition to château-direct consignments from Montrose and Cheval Blanc, our upcoming auction, A Celebration of Bordeaux, features a consignment direct from the cellars of Château Pichon Longueville, Comtesse de Lalande (lots 1103-1133). We’re delighted to offer the wines of this historic Pauillac estate, and we encourage you to explore the careful balance of traditionContinue Reading

Producer Profile: Château Cheval Blanc

Producer Profile: Château Cheval Blanc

In addition to the château-direct consignment from Montrose, our upcoming Bordeaux Auction features a pristine consignment direct from the cellars of Château Cheval Blanc (lots 1-32). In honor of their consignment, we invite you to take a further look at the traditions and techniques that have made this estate one of Bordeaux’s most famous. PerchedContinue Reading

Producer Profile: Château Montrose

Producer Profile: Château Montrose

One of the first châteaux that comes to mind whenever the term “Super Second” is uttered is Château Montrose. We are delighted to feature a consignment direct from Montrose’s cellars in our upcoming Bordeaux Auction (lots 735-798), and we’d like to take a moment to highlight the estate’s history and recent innovations. Situated on slopes overlookingContinue Reading

A Postcard from Asia

A Postcard from Asia

It was hot and humid; the air thick and the city bustling.  It was the beginning of July and I had just landed back in Hong Kong.  I thought to myself, I had to get ready for dinner; no time to waste. I hauled 65 pounds of luggage along with a case of wine up toContinue Reading

Michael Davis on “I’ll Drink To That!”

Levi Dalton’s popular podcast, “I’ll Drink To That!,” was founded in 2012 and features more than 200 interviews with wine professionals from around the globe. The bi-weekly show is an incredible resource for wine professionals and enthusiasts alike, providing an insider’s view into the minds of respected sommeliers, vintners, importers, retailers and wine journalists. Episode 202, releasedContinue Reading

Lieu-Dit: The Naming of a Place

Lieu-Dit: The Naming of a Place

First, I have a confession to make. For more years than I care to admit (this isn’t a full confession), I thought I knew all there was to know about the French wine label. I had it all figured out. I knew all the regions, the appellations, the producers, I even knew the specific namesContinue Reading

Brazil and Wine: A Natural Pairing (Part 2)

Brazil and Wine: A Natural Pairing (Part 2)

This past March, Paul Hart and I visited clients in Brazil as we do each year.  Below I detail a few brief anecdotes from our journey that I think illustrate many of the points I highlighted in my previous post. Rio: Lorenzo Café and Casa Carandai The restaurant, Lorenzo Bistro, and the gourmet shop, CasaContinue Reading

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