L'Assemblage Blog

Domaine Romanée-Conti 2015 “We see this sort of vintage two or three times a century… Very special” Aubert de Villaine

Posted on 09/02/18, filed under Burgundy, Wine Tasting | No Comments


The 2015 vintage will go down as one of the ‘easiest’ vintages of the century, when nature plays a major role in wine quality. A damp but generally mild winter was followed by a warm, dry Spring and hot Summer. Early flowering continued by warm temperatures and moderate northerly winds, ensured even fruit ripeness. Long fermentations of whole bunch clusters produced rich, concentrated wines.

These rank as some of the finest made to date by the Domaine, as expressed in my recent notes from the bottles sampled:-

Corton 2015

Deep ruby colour, intense aromas of dark fruits, including plum and cranberries intermixed with dried herbs. The fruit is ripe, opulent with graceful fine tannins and a mineral spine. This classic Corton is powerful though light on its feet with a long cool finish. Outstanding purity and balance. 94+/100

Echézeaux 2015

Deep garnet colour, intense fruits of blueberry, wild strawberry and a spicy, earthy note. Full bodied on the palate, fine textured tannins balanced with polished fruit and vibrant acidity. Compact, dry finish. Classic but needs some time to evolve. Best from 2022 -2032. 95/100.

Grands Echézeaux 2015

Deep ruby with reserved nose of dark fruits and saline mineral nuances. Dense, gutsy full bodied style with brooding ripe tannins lurking beneath berry fruits with basalmic notes. Real depth and persistance on the finish. Best drink 2025 – 2036. 96/100.

Romanée-St- Vivant 2015

Ruby colour with subtle fragrant red and black fruits, rose petal and spice nuances. Medium full chewy fruit, somewhat sauvage yet beautifully pure. There is a slight savoury, saline, earthy note with fine tannins. Long, graceful finish. Classic, delineated composition. Best 2023-2036+. 96/100

Richebourg 2015

Deep red hues. Fresh aromas of ripe raspberry, plum with vanilla and spice nuances. Full bodied, opulent sweet ripe fruit with silky fine tannins. There is a fleshy multi-layered quality with beautiful balance and a cool long finish. This is utterly breathtaking in its sheer depth. Drink from 2027-2037+. 96-98/100

La Tâche 2015

Lush, intense, sweet berry fruit with earth and tea tinged nuances. On the palate this is a rich profound wine with layers of dark, dense fruit and spice notes. This voluptuous La Tâche seems so refined, cool and composed. This finish Is long, pure and silky. Drink from 2028 to 2038+. 97-99/100

Romanée-Conti 2015

Deep mauve to ruby with aromas of raspberry, light floral and spice nuances. The palate is full yet compact, with layers of old vine fruits and a mineral drive that fades so gradually on the persistent finish. All the components are finely balanced; the cool fruit, silky tannins, gentle acidity, spice, alcohol and minerality. This is simply sensational and almost ethereal. Best from 2033+. 99+/100

Tasted by Guy Willings, January 22nd 2018.


Tasting Domaine Prieuré Roch 2015

Posted on 11/10/17, filed under Burgundy, Wine Tasting | No Comments

L’Assemblage are very proud to be a stockist of Prieuré Roch, the personal Domaine of Henry-Frédéric Roch, co-director of the Domaine Romanée-Conti.

It was wonderful to be invited to try his 2015 releases, a sublime vintage characterised by ripe fruit, freshness, clean acidity and fine tannins. Please find our full notes below…

Tasting Prieure Roch


Chambertin Clos de Bèze, Grand Cru – 2815 bottles produced – 96 Points
This is exceptionally dense and incredibly detailed. Rich aromas of plum fruit are supported by a plethora of subtleties including heather, thyme and Asian spices. This has all the usual Prieuré Roch precision but with notable ripeness balanced effortlessly by impressive freshness and acidity. Incredible!  

Clos de Vougeot, Grand Cru 2910 bottles produced  94 Points
Dark berries with inviting mineral and heather nuances. Whilst the palate is intense it is it is wonderfully controlled. This is a velvety, sleek Clos Vougeot.

Vosne-Romanée 1er Cru, Les Suchots – 4681 bottles produced – 94 Points
Prieuré Roch’s Nuits are all about richness and opulence. In contrast, the Vosne charms you with its elegance, purity and subtlety. There’s lots of mineral here, violets and stunning freshness. It is super-precise with an impressively persistent finish. This is my personal pick of the Premier Crus.

Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru, Clos des Corvées – 6478 bottles produced – 93 Points
The Corvées is Prieuré Roch’s signature Cru and is also the vineyard that produces the Nuits 1er VV and Nuits 1er. The Corvées is made exclusively with ‘millerandé’ berries from only the oldest vines. This labour of love produces a super concentrated and textured, seductive Nuits. Whilst really quite powerful it is harmoniously balanced.

Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru, Clos des Argillières – 1966 bottles produced – 93 Points
Showing marginally cooler aromas with more mineral and red fruit than its Nuits siblings. The Argillières is succulent and precise.

Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru VV – 4537 bottles produced – 93 Points
From Clos des Corvées vines. The nose is something of a paradox, being both ripe and raw! There is the hallmark sweet, plum fruit supported by pretty mineral and violet undertones but also some seed and stem, perhaps as a result of Prieuré Roch’s philosophy to whole-bunch ferment? This sense of tension does not carry over to the palate which is rich and structured with silky tannins and balanced acidity.

Nuits-Saint-Georges 1er Cru – 7415 bottles produced – 92 Points
From Clos des Corvées vines. Seductive dark fruit aromas of spice, heather and ginger are all present. There is more than a nod to the Clos des Corvées here, sharing a little of its depth and sweetness and some of that seductive, velvety texture. This is complimented by a lovely freshness. This a wine that can be enjoyed young without any hesitation.

Ladoix le Cloud, Rouge – 9620 bottles produced – 90 Points
This is a great introduction to the range. The Ladoix is medium-bodied with a morello cherry fruit profile but with all Prieuré Roch’s signature precision and freshness, and the hallmark 2015 ripeness and balance. Classy stuff at an attractive price.

Ladoix, Le Cloud Blanc – 3356 bottles produced – 86 Points
There is a lovely salinity to the nose of this Chardonnay. Whilst it is a little crude it shows the potential of this plot (one of Prieuré Roch’s most recent acquisitions, the most recent being in Savigny-Les-Beaune). There is some impressive structure, partly due to the 10% skin contact, and a lovely creaminess to the finish.

by Nathan Fynes

Even smaller 2017 Vintage

Posted on 02/10/17, filed under Bordeaux, Burgundy, News | No Comments

France has suffered one of it's smallest vintages in more than 40 years, especially in the Loire, Chablis and Bordeaux, where late Spring frosts destroyed many of the buds. Our Bordeaux Supérieur agency, Chateau Le Grand Verdus, lost 80% of their potential crop. What was eventually picked this month was of good quality.  Other growers around St Emilion were less fortunate. It seems that a few unscrupulous vintners have turned to stealing grapes and vines.

Four Chateaux have lost over seven tons of premium grapes to thieves in the dead of night. Philippe Bardet of the Bordeaux Wine Council, said to the Telegraph newspaper that ''the harvest is so dire this year given the shortage of grapes, that the temptation to help yourself from the vineyard next door is too strong''. Some of the more isolated plots have been completely stripped bare. We have heard of similar incidents happening across France and beyond, including Domaine Romanee-Conti a few years back, though few are prepared to speak openly about their misfortunes.

The wine police division in Bordeaux helped us a few years ago locate and arrest thieves stealing wine between bonds. Considering these are some of the most expensive grapes in the world per tonne, it's about time they have night patrols and surveillance cameras during the crucial harvest period.