TNs: Raveneau, Dujac, Dujac, Dujac, Dujac, Dujac, Dujac, Dujac, Dujac, Dujac, Dujac, Dujac, Dujac

Raveneau 2007 Chablis 1er Cru Vaillons
This is about as pure an expression of Chablis as you’ll ever get, the classic lemon-inflected streamwater that tastes like it trickled through a few miles of oyster shells. It totally saturates the palate and seems to instantly transmogrify your tongue into a Kimmeridgian riverbed. But it doesn’t have much cut—this is a wine that wafts across the palate rather than slicing through it. When we revisit it at the end of the night it had picked up this pretty melony perfume that was almost riesling-esque.

Dujac 1976 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Combottes
Wow—there’s more life and vibrancy to this than any '76 I can remember, with an impressive amount of gloss and ripe berry flavor that would have led me to guess it to be much younger than this at first. But there’s an underlying savoriness to it that speaks to its aging in bottle, and it finishes with serious length of I-don’t-know-what but it sure isn’t something fruity. With air it gets more leathery and begins to show its age, as well as turning somewhat inelegantly boxy as you might expect from a '76. But on the basis of its performance when first poured it was certainly one of the highlights of the lineup.

Dujac 1990 Clos de la Roche
An instant WOW nose, not just in its intensity but it’s sooooo enticing, as if you took all the ingredients to the scent of a Grand Cru Burgundy and baked them into a cake. It features a silky and weightless palate presence with the grace of a ballerina—then just as you’re tossing it around in your mouth remarking on the lightness of its touch it gives you a spicy tingle on the back, letting you know this ballerina has a serious spine. The finish is all dark sweet fruit even suggesting some figgy sur-maturité, but it pulls that off without the slightest bit of fat. I think this was the unanimous favorite of the evening. Maybe 1 or 2 people voted for something else, but they were wrong so their votes don’t count.

Dujac 1988 Clos de la Roche
A very educational contrast with the 1990, in that neither one broadcasts the vintage stereotypes standing alone, but the differences between them illustrate the differences in vintage personality very clearly. This smells immediately more austere, almost gravelly instead of the sweet and savory scents in the 1990. But on the palate it’s almost as sophisticated. Maybe the tannins are slightly more pronounced and drying but they are still silken in finesse and don’t obscure the rest or give it an austere presentation. It’s almost like a two-track wine, with the tannin quietly whispering on top of a fuller lead vocal. There’s a gamey animale taste on the entry and then some sweeter graham cracker flavors come out. The material is just as intense as the 1990 but there it still expressed itself as fruit, and here it’s other stuff.

Dujac 2001 Echezeaux
I’m not as in love with the 2001 vintage as many people are and this wine sort of demonstrates why. It has an almost smoky character, both an actual smoky flavor that may be an artifact of the barrel toast as well as a downcast ashen sensation in the tannins. Towards the end of the glass it began to pick up a stalky/lima bean scent not altogether unlike a 2004 suffering from the greenie disease. Were the stems in this less than ripe? My main issue with the wine, though, was that it came across a little hollow—it carves out a big space for itself, which seems to stretch the material too thin, so the result is material that feels a little diluted and a little lean relative to its frame. Still a nice wine, but in this lineup I thought it the weakest.

Dujac 1999 Echezeaux
Here is a wine that nobody will accuse of being too lean in the center. There is so much fruit here that the wine seems to be constantly wringing more juice out of the grapes as you drink it. And it’s extremely concentrated, coming across almost gelatinous in density. But there’s not only more material here than the '01, there’s also more detail, and a light cinnamon dusting on the finish seems to be hinting at some of the aromatic development to come (and which is already strong in the 1996). The almost overwhelming intensity of midpalate fruit in this wine smothering the structure, combined with the conspicuously thin midpalate of the 2001 drawing attention to its structure, gave me an idea… and an impromptu blend of the 1999 and 2001 turned out to be more balanced than either wine on its own.

Dujac 1996 Echezeaux
I had opened a bottle from this stash last year and was surprised by the tertiary development and accessibility that I would have expected to need more time to come around. It was definitely one of the best Echezeaux I’ve ever had so I was looking forward to another go at it. It didn’t disappoint, with a pungent aroma right out of the gate that had me coming back to sniff the bottleneck all night until we got around to pouring—equal parts animale and spice bazaar, like hanging game rolled in five-spice. The fruit here was more intense and primary than I remember from the last bottle, which seemed to have a slightly more faded patina, so while the spiciness made this more distinguished than the '99 and '01, it didn’t come across vastly more advanced, which I suppose is how it should be, and I sure wish I had more than one more lonely bottle of this to follow over the longer term.

Dujac 2005 Charmes Chambertin
Sampled a taste right after uncorking, at which point one could fairly call it the fruit bomb of the lineup, it was so amazingly inky. But by the time we get to drinking it, its fierce structure kicks in, not just with serious tannic muscle but with almost razor-sharp acidity. I was surprised how bracing it was, and it made the wine exceptionally lip-smacking drinkable even though it wasn’t showing a hell of a lot of personality—I drained my glass before I knew it. The bracing acidity and almost peppery bite made for the perfect contrast with the intense fruit; this kind of concentration can often make a wine syrupy, but this one cut like a samurai.

Dujac 1999 Charmes Chambertin
Exactly what you’d expect—sharing characteristics with both the 2005 Charmes Chambertin and the 1999 Echezeaux, another example of a wine with an almost overwhelming amount of fat fruit in the center. Here the emphasis was on the fruit more than the frame and it seemed a good comparison with the 2005 because it tasted stylistically different without actually tasting any older—but as it sat in the glass it began to reveal a structure almost as bracing as the 2005. They may very well end up in a similar place.

Dujac 1998 Clos St. Denis
This wine still feels very taut and tensile with a slightly wincing tingle on the back end, although the intensity of the fruit is obvious. Not quite jammy but definitely rich; the contrast to the '01 Clos St. Denis is obvious, almost in the same way the '99 contrasted to the '01 in the Echezeaux flight. For the '98 vintage, this is pretty primary stuff, and certainly deeper and denser in its fruit than any other '98 in my recent memory. Density is definitely the theme here but it will need more time before it offers any transparency.

Dujac 2001 Clos St. Denis
Without a doubt leaner than the '98 in both the intensity and the sweetness of the fruit; in terms of fruit, this seems to show as much skin as flesh. And the word “bony” again seems apropos—here’s another '01 that seems to stretch the material too thin over the frame. It gets better with air, and I liked it better than the Echezeaux, since even though it seems a little hollow it still conveys a sense of dimension; maybe bottle age will manage to color in the rest.

Dujac 2000 Bonnes Mares
Palate fatigue forecloses detailed notes from me on the Bonnes Mares flight, but I have to confess to a slight disappointment in that I was hoping the geographic shift towards Chambolle terroir would result in more seductive and perfumed wines, and that wasn’t the case. This one turned somewhat more charming on the finish but my first impression of the taste was that it was a little too sharp for its own good, kind of severe in style. Definitely not as sexy as Bonnes Mares can be.

Dujac 1995 Bonnes Mares
Certainly more supple than the 2000, although showing more tannin as well and not revealing much more personality. This was also a disappiontment if you were hoping for Bonnes Mares character, but the material is still quality stuff so maybe you just need to wait on it. I got more aromatics sniffing the decanter at the beginning of dinner than I did from my glass when we got to drinking it.

So, how as the Dujac?

Thanks for the notes. Back in Sept, I found the '01 Ech a lot more succulent with the oak more mocha-esque and providing a nice seasoning.

Out of curiosity, why do you not put your scores when you post on WB that you have in CT?


Bill- You’re too funny! [rofl.gif]

Great notes!

Interesting not on the 01’ CSD… I wonder where it will end up since I have a stash? Need to open in 5 years years. Meadows really liked it and bought off his recommendation…

I use scores on CT mostly because of the value and potential value in the aggregate data, not so much for what it says about an individual wine. It’s not so meaningful to me that one particular wine struck me as a 90/100 on a given day, but it’s useful to me to do a sort to figure out what my favorite wines of the year were, or to notice that I’m consistently rating one category higher than another, etc. I also figure that one day Eric will be able to tap the ratings data to spit out recommendations like, “Your preferences are very similar to X, add him as a favorite” or “People who rated the wines you rate highly have also enjoyed the following, which you haven’t had yet”… But I avoid posting ratings on the boards because I find that when I do, the discussion inevitably turns to the rating rather than the wine, and it’s always petty. (For some reason people don’t feel insulted if you say a wine they like tasted like garbage, but as soon as you attach a garbage rating to it, they want to burn down your house.) If anyone’s curious how I rate something, they know where to find it for whatever worth it might have to them, but I don’t need to invite a discussion about it.

Essentially using numerical ratings as ordinal rankings. Makes sense to me. Thanks.


Funny title - didn’t see it unti after I posted my '64 DP notes.

Sorry to have missed this evening. Good notes on a solid line-up of Dujac’s even if the majority are way too young [wink.gif]

That Clos de la Roche is the best 1990 I’ve ever had. The issue with 1990s is how they managed the ripeness. Some wines come across as candied, some don’t. The Dujac CdlR wasn’t even close to the edge.

Terrific notes, Keith. We differ a bit, but generally had many similar impressions.

  1. You left out the '00 Drouhin Meursault “Les Perrieres” that followed the Raveneau (generously provided by David S. and Chris C., respectively - thanks for a couple of really nice starters that didn’t get enough attention because of the Dujac avalanche that followed). The Drouhin was drinking at peak - mature but no oxidation, nicely balanced and an excellent finish. I was a bit underwhelmed by the Raveneau because it was missing the steely acidity, as you note, that I expect in extremely young Chablis, but it was intensely flavored.

  2. I’m clearly a bigger fan of '01 than you, though I’m not in the camp that says it is close qualitatively to the best vintages such as '99/'02 - how you get anything close to the disgusting “'04 green” I’m not really sure, but YMMV. Personally, I thought the '01s were excellent, and the Echezeaux in particular was rocking, in my opinion - I got huge, sweet fruit on the nose in particular that had me sniffing it for a while and not wanting to give up my glass for the next flight!

  3. Beyond that, we are fairly aligned - the CdlRs were great, especially the clear WOTN '90 CdlR. Thanks to Chris K. for that one! Wow, everything a Dujac fan could want - it wasn’t quite up to the standard of the ‘85 Ech that Chris brought to a different dinner a while back which was even better, but pretty close. My kingdom for Chris’ Dujac collection bought on release! The '99s indeed were hiding a bit and have a great future, and that '05 Charmes was quite an introduction to the (somewhat atypical)hugeness of '05 Dujac. The Bonnes Mares could go on forever, but were more giving than I feared.

I thought Braeburn was a very good venue (thanks Paul and a special shout out to absent helper Brad Kane) and everyone brought great wine. Thanks for the notes!

That was me. I voted for the '99 Ech although can’t argue with anyone who picked the '90 CdR. Great notes Keith. Only one I disagree on is the 01 Ech. I didn’t find it green or hollow and liked it better than the '96.

Keith – It’s been years since I’ve had a 1976 Dujac, but they were great when I had them back then.

I’m puzzled by your statement of disappointment in Bonnes-Mares. It is the meaty, muscular, rustic aspect of Chambolle (albeit there are variations within that framework, with the southern end where de Vogüé is located showing the most (relative) finesse), an antipode to Musigny at the other end of a village that is much more complex and variable than it is usually perceived as. There is no way B-M should ever be “more seductive and perfumed” than Clos St-Denis, one of the most seductive and perfumed wines in all of Burgundy.

Fun night! There wasn’t one wine I wouldn’t be happy to drink by itself.

To me the stand outs were the '90 Roche and the 99 Ech. I agree with Keith that the 99’s as a group were dense wines but in a good way. I really enjoyed both the 2001’s (CSD & Ech) and the BM flight was great even if my palate was beaten into submission by all the great wines by that point think I preferred the 95 there but ingeneral I am a fan of '95 and don’t mind a touch of tannin in a wine.

The 96 Ech was a touch sharp (hallmark of the vintage) but was nice nonetheless. That '76 Combottes was really interesting dark and brooding and had an interesting herbal finish.

Ray you were missed … what can we say … we drink what we have.


Totally kidding. I’ve opened and thoroughly enjoyed a bunch of '99 and '01 red burgs over the past couple of months.

Hope to see you soon.

Ray - No offense meant and certainly none taken. Hope to drink with you again soon.

Great notes Keith, thanks for posting.

I do find Bonnes Mares, at least my favorite ones, to be more seductive than anything in Morey* for my tastes, but my comment didn’t refer to Clos St. Denis specifically, rather to the whole lineup we had.

  • (yeah, I know BM straddles the border.)

Wow…Great notes…Call me envious…


I am a big fan of Clos de Tart, and their 2001 is a wonderful young wine.

What a great night! I have to say, I think my notes would line up more with David S’s, as I liked the 01 and LOVED the 1990 CDLR. And the whites, WOW, that Raveneau was just sublime.

Thanks to everyone who came and made it such a wonderful evening.
Cheers! [berserker.gif]