Robert Parker 93
Charred meats and dark berries mingle on the nose and firmly- yet finely tannic palate of Dujac’s 2008 Charmes-Chambertin (which I last tasted very shortly before it was bottled). Blackberry, dark cherry, black pepper, and strongly cyanic cherry pit notes add to the unusually low-toned, almost brooding and unshakably persistent carnal intensity of a Charmes that could at most be faulted only for not literally living up to its name, but one that promises a decade or more of fascination and ought probably to stay in the cellar for the next 4-6 years. The Dujac 2008s were not racked until last December, and bottling took place January through March. â€œThe malic acid numbers were high-ish, but not significantly higher than in, say, 2006 or 2001,â€ says Jeremy Seysses in an effort to explain what he admitted were â€œfor us, excessively late malos. I have a feeling it was a lack of nutrients that were wash out,â€ he continues, since, after all, â€œit rained a lot in 2008â€ with, he adds, â€œpoor fruit set proving to be the vintage’s saving grace. I think we would actually have had less to harvest (i.e. worth keeping) if we had had a better fruit set. There was rot, but can you find it in any of the wines? That’s a credit to how far Burgundy has come along in terms of sortingâ€ (which Dujac does exclusively in the vineyard, not on sorting tables ” the name of their U.S. importer ironically notwithstanding). â€œI didn’t love my lack of options in 2007,â€ says Seysses of the preceding season, â€œso we picked early ” earlier even than in 2003.â€ In vinification â€œwe decided not to force too much, and just to keep it charming,â€ which is exactly how I thought the wines turned out. â€œAt Domaine Dujac, we’re never been that attached to deep color, so we’re quite tolerant (in that regard), and the least thing we wanted to do was make hard wines. I de-stemmed more (than usual, or than in 2008). The fruit felt fragile, so in barrel I kept the wines under a bit more free sulfur than usual, which reinforced their lightness.â€ Seysses opines that 2007 was not a year in which old selections displayed their overall superiority to clones, because â€œif yo(‘re Pinots) were riper earlier, you were ripe while it was raining,â€ whereas in 2008 you could scarcely get too much ripeness. Importer: The Sorting Table, Napa, CA; tel. (415) 491-4724
Anticipated maturity: 2010-2016
Good deep red. Very ripe, brooding aromas of medicinal black cherry and licorice. Then sweet, dense and concentrated but backward, showing a savory quality to the black cherry fruit. Less sweet on the chewy back end than the nose would suggest. Finishes with slightly tough tannins that will require patience. This and the Beaux-Monts finished their malolactic fermentation especially late and are tough going today.