Dugat-Py Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru 2008
Wine for laying down, but can be appreciated when young after carafing for several hours before serving.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The celebrated estate of Dugat-Py, located at the base of the Combe de Lavaux in Gevrey-Chambertin, has been producing world-class wines for decades. While the exterior of the house impresses with its mid-16th century architecture, it is the aging cellar that is truly spectacular. The cellar, or L'Aumônerie, is essentially a small abbey that was built by the Diocese of Dijon in the 11th century — making it the oldest cellar in Burgundy today.
In 1975, Bernard Dugat purchased vines in Gevrey and produced his first wines. The creation of the two separate family estates came about in 1994: Domaine Claude Dugat and Domaine Dugat-Py. Py is the maiden name of Bernard's wife, Jocelyne. In 1996, their son, Loïc, joined the family business. He is now at the helm of the Domaine and started their conversion to organic viticulture in 1999, gaining full accreditation in 2003.
Today the family owns 23.5 acres of Pinot Noir and 2.5 acres of Chardonnay, including the original vineyards located in Gevrey. Loïc is passionate about old vines, always searching for old parcels of Pinot Fin or Chardonnay. This dedication has resulted in the domaine now owning vines aged from 65 to more than 100 years old in both Côte de Nuits and Côte de Beaune. Consequently, nearly every wine in the line-up is designated either as Vieilles Vignes or Très Vieilles Vignes. They tend to these mature vineyards with meticulous care, using homemade biodynamic teas throughout (they are certified biodynamic). The 1er Cru and Grand Cru sites are horse-plowed. The vines are never trimmed, allowing the canopies to reach a height of seven or eight feet in the summer months.
The family has always produced classic Vins de Garde: deep in color, with explosive fruit and chiseled tannins. However, since Loïc has taken over, there has been a clear evolution, in the vineyards and in the winery. Loïc does not chaptalize, acidify, inoculate, or add anything to juice, and sulfur is only added prior to bottling. And while the wines are still deep and powerful, they have more balance and finesse than ever. Also never elevated, the alcohol rarely surpasses 13.5%, and harvest now occurs on the earlier side to retain freshness and elegance.
You will love re-discovering the wines of Domaine Dugat Py.
This small village is home to the Grands Crus in the farthest northerly stretches of Côte de Nuits and is famous for some of the deepest and firmest Burgundian Pinot Noir.
Gevrey boasts nine Grands Crus, the best of which are arguably Le Chambertin and Chambertin-Clos de Bèze. As with all of the fragmented vineyards of Burgundy, it isn’t easy to differentiate between the two, which are situated adjacent with Clos de Bèze slightly further up the hill than Le Chambertin. Clos de Bèze has a shallower soil and if you’re really counting, may produce wines less intense but more likely to charm. Some compare Le Chambertin in both power and plentitude only to the prized Romanée-Conti Grand Cru farther south in Vosne-Romanée.
Two other Grands Crus vineyards, Mazis-Chambertin (also written Mazy-) and Latricières-Chambertin command almost as much regard as Le Chambertin and Chambertin-Clos de Bèze. The upper part of Mazy, called Les Mazis Haut is the best and Latricières-Chambertin offers an abundance of juicy fruit and a silky texture in the warmer vintages.
Other Grands Crus are Ruchottes-Chambertin, Charmes-Chambertin, Mazoyères-Chambertin, Griotte-Chambertin and Chapelle-Chambertin.
The most respected Pinot Noir wines from Gevrey-Chambertin are robust and powerful but at the same time, velvety and expressive: black fruit, black liquorice and chocolate come into play. After some time in the bottle, the wines are harmonious with bright and sometimes candied fruit, and aromas of musk, truffle and forest floor. These have staying power.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”