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#25 - 2008 Domaine de la Romanée-Conti Montrachet

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Domaine de la Romanée-Conti's Montrachet is held in such high regard that it has achieved AOC status, and has four Grand Cru vineyards named after its original estate. Montrachet came into this reputation in the mid-1900s, as its Chardonnay defined the subtle tastes of the Burgundy terroir. California white wines threatened Montrachet in the 1976 Judgement of Paris, but since then, the estate has become more strict in its harvests, producing wine from only the ripest grapes.

Chardonnay grapes grown on this estate are some of the rarest in the world, with production averaging about 250 cases or fewer per year. The average age of the vines is an incredible 62 years, which is the oldest of any Romanée-Conti-owned vines. Limestone in the soil allows the roots to drain fully, and Montrachet rests on the best natural slope in the appellation, giving its wines the best sunlight exposure throughout the year.

Pinot Noir in Burgundy suffered in 2008 from breakouts of botrytis, oidium, and hail, but Chardonnay grapes were some of the healthiest on record. In September, the weather began to calm, and producers allowed their Chardonnay grapes to stay on the vine later in the season. The result was the 2008 Montrachet, a wine with intense flavors, high acidity, and high sugar levels.