The Style of the Wine
It is always a privilege to taste a Romanée Saint Vivant. It is a rare emotion born from being close to a masterpiece of nature and man. It has a sumptuous, imposing appearance and is a bright ruby colour. The bouquet has a radiant richness passing from black cherries to raspberry jelly and blackberry cordial with violets. With age it develops notes of undergrowth and leather. This immense wine has expressive intensity and depth. It is smooth but not flabby, silky but structured, dense but elegant. Everything mingles and links together to create sublime complexity.
The vineyard of Romanée Saint Vivant is wonderfully located, with only a road separating it from the Romanée-Conti. It has fabulously generous earth on sublime ground whose mixture of clay and limestone makes one of the greatest reds in the world.
- A long history: founded in 1098, the abbey of Citeaux has made a lengthy contribution to the extension of vines in Burgundy. The monks of Saint-Vivant de Vergy were very much involved in this, so much so that a vineyard in the Côte de Nuits was named after them.
- Some oak but not too much: despite or because of its Grand Cru status, for the Romanée Saint Vivant, the use of new oak during elevage remains very moderate: 30% to 50%. Oak helps define the structure of the wine while also contributing some discreet spicy notes.
- Up until 1990, this vineyard was in the hands of a single winemaker from of the village of Aloxe-Corton. The first vintage of this wine to be produced by Domaine de l'Arlot was 1991.
Romanée Saint Vivant Grand Cru 2016 is an intense purple in colour. On the nose, the bouquet is very elegant and precise with notes of black cherry, raspberry, Earl Grey tea and a hint of crushed rose petals, all beautifully distinct. The palate is pleasantly full-bodied with fine tannins, a slightly crisp texture, and very well balanced with a mineral finish. Wonderful body and elegance in this Grand Cru which will develop well in the bottle over the years.
Vintages come and go, and no two are alike. The winter of 2015-16 was the warmest since 1900. The seasons were displaced, with winter temperatures arriving in March, three months late. The night of 26 to 27 April was a turning point: frost struck the shoots and first leaves. After abundant rainfall during the first six months, summer arrived in July and the onset of ripening began in mid-August with conditions that were at last dry, allowing the grapes to finish maturing in September.
The harvest took place from 27th September to 2nd October.
July was salutary and allowed recovery from the rainy weather with conditions that were favourable for good grape maturity. Despite a low yield, the 2016 vintage is of good quality; this was a happy outcome given the difficult climatic conditions at the beginning of the season.