Domaine Anne Gros Richebourg Grand Cru 1999
It is in fact an extraordinary wine in that it combines power with supreme elegance. We often describe it as a peacock's tail. The silky, velvetiness of the tannins is complemented by a minerality which adds powerful depth and makes this grand cru one of the most sensual and complex wines.Its purple color reflects like a jewel the purity of Pinot Noir. The aromas are extremely complex and express an entire spectrum.The floral aspect is characterised by notes of peony, roses and violets...The spicy aspect by notes of licorice, vanilla and coriander...The fruit aspect by notes of red and black fruit (raspberry, black currant...)The vegetal aspect by notes of undergrowth, methyl, fresh cut herbs...The exotic aspect by notes of leather and musk... notes of caramel and chocolate bring it all together. It is a wine which with age becomes more and more earthy (humus, wet undergrowth) and wild (animal fur...). The food and wine pairings are many, but a dish must never be over complicated once you decide to open a Richebourg. The simplest mix of flavors gives the best results. The fundamental rule is to avoid suffocating this wine with heavier dishes.
Red meat and roasted game with mushrooms (morels, truffles, ceps...) and onion confit, along with a dash of spice form a magnificent combination. Mild cheeses (comté, reblochon, cîteaux...) are also excellent companions.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Anne Gros's 1999 Richebourg Grand Cru is showing well, unfurling in the glass with a still-youthful bouquet of creamy dark berry fruit, spices, plums and toasty new oak. On the palate, it's full-bodied, ample and layered, with a remarkably primary core of fruit, fine but gently chewy structuring tannins and ripe but lively acids. This is a strong effort in quite the comparatively oaky, extracted style that's so typical of this decade in the Côte de Nuits, my sole reservation being that it's a little short on complexity for a 20-year-old Richebourg.
This is the village for the most die-hard Burgundy fanatics. Vosne-Romanée has for many hundreds of years been the source of the most sought-after Pinot Noir in Burgundy. The village claims six Grands Crus—and some of the most famous at that—but in other villages where owners manage tiny parcels or a few rows of any one vineyard, monopolies dominate the Grands Crus of Vosne-Romanee.
Of these monopolies, Domaine Romanee-Conti (DRC) reigns supreme, claiming not only more total vineyard area than any other producer, but outright owning the entirety of two of the Grands Crus and a majority of two others. In its full possession are naturally Romanée-Conti, as well as La Tâche. DRC also owns most of Richebourg and Romanée-St-Vivant. The final two, La Grande Rue and La Romanée are completely owned by other other produers: François Lamarche and Comte Liger Belair, respectively.
While one could spend a lifetime on the puzzles of land ownership in Burgundy, the point is that Vosne-Romanee contains the most valuable pieces of vineyard real estate in the world. Pinot Noir from any of its vineyards—especially from within its 27ha of Grand Cru or 58 ha of Premier Cru land—is going to rank among the best.
The most outstanding wines from this village have everything: finesse and elegance coupled with the body and sturdiness for incredibly long aging ability. They are intensely floral and exotically spiced. Beautifully ripe, complex and ephemeral throughout, they are robust, yet fine-grained in texture. These wines will stay gorgeous for the long haul.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”