1994 Domaine Dujac Charmes-Chambertin- France, Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru (6/18/2009)
Picked this up for cheap, thought I’d take a chance on an off-vintage from a great producer. I was well rewarded.
This wine makes you work for it, though–makes you coax out its charms. The wine is the pale, translucent ruby (slightly browning) color of well-aged Burgundy. Upon opening, it started off a bit flat and tart (on the nose and the palate) so I let it sit in the decanter for a while. The nose blossomed first, revealing raspberries, sous bois, and earth. On the palate, however, it remained somewhat thin and a bit acidic. As it began to open up, though, it showed a nice red fruit profile–raspberries and cranberries–and began to behave like an aged cru Beaujolais. After more than an hour in decanter, the wine fleshed out more, picking up some weight and adding structure and savory flavors and darker fruit to balance out the tartness. Developed a nice texture and a bit of complexity. Not a knockout by any means–a lightweight in fact, with little depth–but in many ways a textbook burg. Subtle. Charming. Feminine. Intellectual. Great with food. Nothing hedonistic about this one, but it was alluring nonetheless. Fully mature, maybe slightly past its prime. (92 pts.)
I’ve been reading some positive reports about '94 cote de nuits lately and, given my good experience, I’m going to keep an eye out for deals. I’m always looking for ready-to-drink wine. Hopefully in ten years, people will be finding surprisingly nice 2004s. I’ve heard the quote before: “if you wait 15 years, you’re rarely wrong.”
Haven’t had many recently, but I also remember a '94 Lafarge Clos des Ducs as being a very nice surprise. Given the expectations and correspondingly low prices, I’ll be looking out for them as well, Nuits or Beaune.