DRC: Neal Martin reviews the 2017 vintage

Burgundy 2017 was a welcome relief for growers, due to its abundant quantity and much applauded quality. The vintage was released at the peak of the Burgundy market, when the region’s prices had reached record highs. Domaine de la Romanée-Conti, Burgundy’s most iconic brand, was no exception.

Yesterday, Neal Martin released his notes from tasting DRC 2017 in bottle at a London Corney & Barrow event that allowed him to compare vineyards that share the “same grape, same producer and same approach” side by side. No easy task to judge objectively, the critic said, but it “would be an abdication of responsibility if I did not place the latest releases within the context of previous vintages and those producers disadvantaged by not being called Domaine de la Romanée-Conti”.

Neal Martin DRC scores

La Tache was Martin’s top-scoring wine, “one of [his] favourite Burgundy wines [….] irrespective of its history, status or price”. Martin revealed that the “monopole yielded over 2,000 cases in 2017, about the same as Petrus” though “its relatively large production [remains] widely overlooked”.

Romanee Conti, which Martin described as “effortless on the palate, beguiling and harmonious” came second with 96 points as the 2017 La Tâche “possesses greater complexity”.

DRC sub-indices Burgundy report

The DRC, Tache index has risen 113% over the past five years, compared to a more modest 88% increase for Romanee Conti. The biggest riser from the DRC sub-indices, however, is Echezeaux (171%), which has historically offered one of the lowest entry points into the brand.

The 2017 Echezeaux received 91 points and Martin said that “you could almost broach it now, but that would be sacrilege – wouldn’t it?”

You can read Martin’s full report, “Complex, Not Complicated: 2017 DRC in Bottle” on Vinous.

For a more in-depth look into the DRC brand and Burgundy’s price performance, download our latest report on the region “Burgundy – After the peak”.