I had a slight reservation about the Romanee St.-Vivant. As in 1987, I wondered whether the 1988 was excessively tannic and a gamble for the long run. There is no doubting its massive constitution, full body, and rich extract, but the tannins seemed extremely hard and tough, and this wine would appear to be at least a decade away from drinkability. Perhaps because one so rarely encounters this old-style, tannic type of burgundy, it is tempting to dismiss it as too hard and tough. Yet this wine might very well have the unheard-of aging potential of 30 or more years. The prices for the wines of the Domaine de la Romanee-Conti may be exorbitant but the quality of the wines produced in the eighties is truly remarkable. The 1988s are celestial wines selling at stratospheric prices. The 1988 production was twice what it was in 1987, but the same as in 1985. The 1988s are fuller-bodied, deeper, more concentrated wines than the superb 1987s, and will need some time in the cellar to shed their generous amounts of tannin. The only vintage they can be favorably compared with is the 1985 vintage, and the 1985s were a great deal more forward and flattering to taste when young. There is more depth in the 1988s than in the 1986s or even the superb 1980s (which turned out to be the finest wines made in that underrated vintage).