• Singular Spice: The Wines of Domaine Dujac

    Singular Spice: The Wines of Domaine Dujac

    The village of Morey Saint Denis in the Côte de Nuits is home to one of the most treasured family estates in Burgundy, Domaine Dujac. Since its founding by Jacques Seysses in 1968 Dujac has become a fixture of 3-star Michelin restaurants around the globe. The signature spice of the Pinot Noirs from the domaine have been catnip for sommeliers and collectors alike for nearly 50 years. Although the wines are among the greatest in the world, the impact the Dujac family has had on a personal level with their customers and apprentices is even greater. 

    Living in Burgundy throughout 2012 was an incredible experience for me, and the luck I had in being able to work at Domaine Dujac from June through October was a dream realized. Taking part first hand in the attention to detail in the vines, cellar, and cuverie for fermentation put into perfect context why the wines and people here are met with such fanfare. Countless winemakers from the US to Australia have spent time working here since the 70's and it cannot be overstated just how significant the family's impact has been on the world of fine wine production.

    Today, Jacques's son Jeremy works alongside his wife Dianna Snowden Seysses, and his brother Alec. The style at Dujac has remained largely the same since it was founded. Today, Jeremy has reduced the new oak influence on the Villages and some Premier Cru wines. The use of whole cluster fermentation here is still very prevalent, with the wines of Gevrey Chambertin generally seeing a little less than those of Morey Saint Denis, Chambolle Musigny, and Vosne Romanée. The haunting spice and silken texture of all the wines is still very much the calling card of this address.

    A close look at vintages:

    2014 Fleshy, darker-fruited, and approachable.
    2013 Vibrant, transparent, and racy.
    2012 Great concentration, supple tannins, and plush fruit.
    2011 Soft, very approachable, elegant.
    2010 High ripeness, high acidity, quintessential balance, a near perfect vintage.
    2009 Ripe, fruit-forward, and structured, primed to age wonderfully.
    2008 Classic, energetic, supremely terroir-driven.
    2005 Incredibly concentrated, ripe, powerful, expected to age effortlessly for decades.
    2001 Graceful, nuanced, and delicate with lovely brightness. 
    1999 Dark, ripe, and very deeply textured, among the best of the last several decades.
    1997 Opulent, fruit-forward, very approachable vintage that's turned out fabulously well at Chez Dujac.

    Gevrey Chambertin is home to Grand Cru Charmes-Chambertin, the largest of the village. The holdings here encompass several different parcels with different expositions - A true representation of this iron-rich site. There is a power and dark spice here synonymous with Gevrey, with a grace befitting of Grand Cru status.

    2014 Dujac Charmes Chambertin
    $329 
    (2013 $289), (2012 $389), (2008 $259) 

    The Morey Saint Denis Villages holdings are adjacent to the domaine, with Premier Cru vineyards to the north. The fabled Clos de la Roche and Clos Saint Denis are the largest Grand Crus of the domaine, and are benchmark bottlings here. Clos de la Roche is powerful, with dark earth. Clos Saint Denis is more lifted, ethereal, and delicate.

    2014 Dujac Morey Saint Denis
    $89
    (2012 $99), (2005 $199)

    2014 Dujac Morey Saint Denis 1er Cru
    $179 
    (2013 $169) , (2012 $199) , (2008 $193)

    2014 Dujac Clos de la Roche
    $589 
    (2013 $599), (2010 $799) 

    2014 Dujac Clos Saint Denis
    $589
    (2013 $599), (2010 $799), (2010 1.5L $1,799) 

    Just south in Chambolle Musigny the Grand Cru Bonnes Mares is sourced from vines both in the white and red soil that differentiate the vineyard. Bonnes Mares shows the elegance of Chambolle with a powerful structure that calls to mind a slight Morey influence. The Villages Chambolle Musigny bottling comes from a vineyard with noticeably white and chalky earth, in turn the wine is very fine. The special secret, in my estimation, of the entire domaine is the Premier Cru Les Gruenchers. These are among the oldest vines in any Dujac vineyard. This is the source material for nearly all of the selection massale replanting. There are wines with more power, more length, and greater pedigree, but this is the sexiest wine of the domaine, and in many cases the most rare.

    2014 Dujac Chambolle Musigny
    $94 
    (2012 $114)

    2014 Dujac Chambolle Musigny 1er Cru Gruenchers
    $299 
    (2005 $599), (2001 $459)

    2014 Dujac Bonnes Mares
    $599
    (2013 $799), (2012 $999), (2009 $969), (2008 $524), (2001 $699), (1999 $1,089)

    Vosne Romanée is home to the most exotic spices of Burgundy. Premier Cru Beaux Monts is all about a marriage between firm structure and a racy personality. Premier Cru Aux Malconsorts is a stunning wine, and Grand Cru quality here in all but name. Malconsorts lies directly south of La Tâche, and shares that same quality of weightless texture and magically long finish. Grand Cru Echezeaux is home to some of the longest rows of the domaine, but working them was a breeze thanks to the exquisite old vines planted on this other-worldly bright red topsoil. Echezeaux really embodies all the silken texture and exotic spice that Vosne is so famous for.

    2014 Dujac Vosne Romanée 1er Cru Beaux Monts
    $289
    (2013 $239), (2012 $279), (2011 $234)

    2014 Dujac Vosne Romanée 1er Cru Aux Malconsorts
    $399
    (2014 1.5L $799), (2013 1.5L $799), (2012 1.5L $999), (2010 $489)

    2014 Dujac Echezeaux
    $437

    Dianna had spent time working with Domaine Leflaive, and she's applied a similar sophistication and regal quality to the highly anticipated debut release of the domaine-farmed wines in Puligny Montrachet. The old Chardonnay vines of Premier Cru Combettes are located in perfect mid-slope exposition. Having 2014 as a premier vintage for a White Burgundy is quite the blessing! 


    2014 Dujac Puligny Montrachet 1er Cru Les Combettes
    $219

    Dianna Snowden Seysses also has a family estate in the Napa Valley. And here she returns each fall after Dujac harvest to produce Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot from her family's vineyards. The wines here show the same elegance that Dujac wines have been so beloved for. It's rare for us to find wines in Napa that show such a light touch and thoughtful approach. It shouldn't come as a surprise with Dianna's background that her sensibilities here lean toward the more traditional and nuanced side of the Napa Valley spectrum.

    2014 Snowden "The Ranch" Cabernet Sauvignon
    $53

    2014 Snowden "Brothers Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon
    $85

    2012 Snowden "Lost Vineyard" Napa Valley Merlot
    $38

    Posted by Max Kogod