Bernard Dugat is an artist whose medium is wine. Passionate, articulate and down to earth, he doesn’t rely on a lot of technique. Rather, his key to expressing the best from each terroir is old vines, moderate yields and long fermentations with whole clusters. Tasting Dugat’s wines in the vaulted cellar, a former monastery, is indeed a spiritual experience. His 2005 reds are stunning, the top of the range is literally breathtaking.
These are wines with power, richness and great purity that reveal their individual differences, both in the quality hierarchy and from vineyard to vineyard.
The wines were racked either before or after the 2006 harvest and will be bottled in March. There’s a cassis- and spice-tinged Gevrey-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes, and a very different expression of softer fruit, candied cherry and iron in the Pommard La Levrières.
The Vosne-Romanée Vieilles Vignes offers fragrant floral, black currant and spice notes in an elegant, seductive package. The Gevrey-Chambertin Coeur de Roy comes from the oldest vines of the domaine, at 98 years young. It’s more masculine than the Vosne, dense, with cassis and blackberry flavors.
A range of Gevrey premiers crus illustrates some of the diverse terroirs in this dynamic village. The Petite-Chapelle is all finesse, with cherry and mineral notes that linger. The Lavaux St.-Jacques is darker—black cherry, licorice, tobacco and mineral come to mind—yet it's dense and fresh. To my palate, the Champeaux combines the structure and density of Lavaux and the finesse of the Petite-Chapelle.
In the complex scheme that is Burgundy, Mazoyères-Chambertin is entitled to the name Charmes-Chambertin, and usually bottled as such, but the favor is not returned. Yet there is a difference in the terroirs, as demonstrated in the Dugat-Py bottlings. Both are from 26-year-old vines. The Charmes is aromatic, with oak spice complementing a core of red and black cherry on a broad, lush frame. The Mazoyères, on the other hand, reveals more black fruit, a hint of mint and more mineral notes.
Dugat’s Mazis-Chambertin, from 67- to 70-year-old vines, shows incredible depth and expression of black currant and blackberry flavors. It’s concentrated and structured, with velvety, mouthcoating tannins and a long finish. As good as the Mazis is, the Chambertin raises the bar to another level. Though not as aromatic at this stage, it's a multifaceted wine, peppery and spicy, displaying layers of black cherry, licorice, mineral and spice notes. It’s very classy and long.
Charles P Daniels — February 9, 2007 11:47am ET
Bruce Sanderson — New York — February 10, 2007 6:38am ET
Alex Bernardo — Millbrae, CA — February 12, 2007 10:26pm ET
Sips & Tips | Wine & Healthy Living
Video Theater | Collecting & Auctions