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1999 Clos de la Roche, Grand Cru, Domaine Dujac
Scores and Reviews
Domaine Dujac in Burgundy was acquired by Jacques Seysses in 1967. The domaine in Morey-St-Denis had 4 hectares of vineyards and he has subsequently built it up to 11.5 hectares. Domaine Dujac now includes holdings in Clos de la Roche, Clos St-Denis, Bonnes-Mares, Echézeaux and Charmes-Chambertin . "Use knowledge and technology to counter accidents - for example, bad weather - but, if all is going well, don't interfere," says Seysses and this principle guides much of what happens in the vineyards and the cellars. Dujac wines are neither filtered nor fined and all of his premiers and grands crus are aged in 100% new oak. These are wines of the very highest order.
The first vintage, 1968, was one of the worst years on record so the wines were sold off in bulk, but 1969 was an entirely different matter, putting the domaine firmly on the map. In 1973 Jacques married Rosalind Boswell, a Californian girl who came to work the vintage and stayed for life. The first two of their three children, Jeremy (born 1975), Alec (1977) and Paul (1980) are now involved in the business, as is Jeremy’s wife Diana, also Californian, and a trained oenologist. In 2000 Jeremy Seysses also inaugurated, with his father, a small scale negociant business known as Dujac Fils et Père.
The domaine has expanded over the years as additional parcels of vineyard became available, culminating in the acquisition of some exceptional vineyards from Domaine Thomas-Moillard in 2005. In 1987 the domaine moved to lutte raisonée, the reasoned application of treatments, and from 2001 to organic farming. Today 75% of the domaine, including all premier and grand cru vineyards, is farmed organically with experiments also along biodynamic lines.
Jacques Seysses is a leading advocate of including stems in the fermentation process, as much so as to avoid bruising the grapes during the de-stemming process as for a desire to include the stems themselves. However each vintage is treated according to its merits and the ripeness of the stems.
The cellars in Morey St Denis have been extended in recent years to improve cellaring conditions. The barrels can now be kept at a cooler ambient temperature, enabling the malolactic fermentation to happen later and for the wines to be racked less frequently.
Dujac wines are not necessarily the deepest in colour but are noted for their exceptional fragrance, structure and longevity. With seven grands crus in the stable, Dujac is today one of Burgundy’s leading domaines.
Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director and author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.
Morey is sometimes ignored between its two famous neighbours, Chambolle-Musigny and Gevrey-Chambertin, but its wines are of equal class, combining elegance and structure. Morey-St Denis, being that little bit less famous, can often provide excellent value.
The four main Grand Cru vineyards continue in a line from those of Gevrey-Chambertin, with Clos St Denis and Clos de la Roche the most widely available. Clos des Lambrays (almost) and Clos de Tart (entirely) are monopolies of the domains which bear the same names.
Domaine Dujac and Domaine Ponsot also make rare white wines in Morey-St Denis.
- 64 hectares of village Morey-St Denis
- 33 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards (20 in all). Best vineyards include Les Charmes, Les Millandes, Clos de la Bussière, Les Monts Luisants
- 40 hectares of Grand Cru vineyard. Clos de Tart, Clos des Lambrays, Clos de la Roche, Clos St Denis and a tiny part of Bonnes Mares
- Recommended Producers: Dujac, Ponsot, Clos de Tart, Domaine des Lambrays