Domaine Dujac   
visiting Burgundy, part 5



The next appointment was eagerly awaited. One of the great domaines of Burgundy: Dujac. I was meeting with Jeremy Seysses (above), who now running the day-to-day business of the domaine, although his father Jacques is still involved.

As a newcomer to Burgundy Jacques founded his domaine (Domaine du Jacques = Dujac) in 1967, but carried on working with the family biscuit business for a while as the wine picked up. Remember, Burgundy in the late 1960s was a very different place to the affluent region it is today, and in those days you could reasonably expect to come in and buy enough serious vineyards to form a top domaine. Not so now.

Jacques began by buying the 4.5 hectare Domaine Graillet in Morey-St-Denis in 1967. He then added vineyard blocks, including a bit of Echézeaux, Bonnes Mares and Clos de La Roche. His latest acquisition was the joint purchase of the Charles Thomas estate in 2005, which niftily secured bits of Chambertin, Romanée-St-Vivant and Vosné-Romanée 1er Cru Malconsorts, which would have been eye-wateringly expensive and are just about impossible to obtain however deep your pockets.

Current vineyard holdings are impressive. Grand Crus are 2 ha Clos de la Roche, 1.5 ha Clos St-Denis, 0.55 ha Bonnes Mares, 0.6 ha Charmes Chambertin, 0.6 ha Echézeaux, 0.16 ha Romanée-St-Vivant, 0.29 ha Chambertin. Then 1er Crus are 1.5 ha Malconsorts, 0.7 ha Beaux Monts, 1.15 ha Les Combettes, 0.32 ha Les Gruenchers, 0.65 ha Les Monts Luisants, 0.75 Morey-St-Denis. Altogether, Dujac cultivate 15.5 ha of vines (not all are owned by them, though).

Dujac stopped using herbicides in the early 1990s. ‘For me this is the most important thing’, says Jeremy Seysses, son of Jacques and now in charge of the domaine. ‘My gut feeling is that 90% of the change came from working the soils and stopping herbicides. It led to an introduction of a degree of biodiversity in what otherwise is intensive monoculture.’ He admits that moving in this direction generates significantly more work. ‘We have an extra tractor and tractor driver’, he reveals. Jeremy reckons that by the time you get to implementing biodynamics, you are usually better at working in the vineyards, spotting mildew patches on leaves and oidium affected berries. ‘The people who are poster children for biodynamics are in the vineyards a lot and are good growers.’ Jeremy began with organics and biodynamics on some of the Grand Cru vineyards, and in 2009 moved all vineyards under their control to this form of viticulture. Dujac have a permanent team of seven to cultivate 15.5 hectares, plus seasonal workers to do jobs such as debudding, shoot thinning and green harvest. He says that they are very thorough with their shoot thinning and leaf pulling because this is a prophylactic measure to get good air flow through the fruit zone and canopy, and thus reduce the risk of fungal disease.

Stylistically, Jeremy says that they aim at elegance, finesse, complexity and charm ahead of alcohol and tannic structure. ‘I started making wine with my father in 1994,’ says Jeremy. ‘We have had lots of ripe vintages by the standards of pre-1990, but 2007 is a return to the old styles of the 1980s: wines with less alcohol and a longer growing season.’ He adds that, ‘our tendency is not to push things too far. People consider us underextracted.’

At Dujac, 12 days between picking and pressing is not that unusual, which is quite a short maceration. Dujac are also a house who tend to favour whole cluster fermentations with the stems, but not religiously. ‘I have some colleagues who never adapt their winemaking, but I shift the destemming thing, and some years we destem more than others.’


Dujac Morey-St-Denis Village 2007
Elegant, smooth, fresh cherryish nose. The palate is pure and elegant with lovely texture. Very fresh and intense with real vibrancy. Beautifully focused sweet cherry fruit dominates with some spicy, grippy structure underneath. A wonderful wine. 92/100

Dujac Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Les Combottes 2007
This vineyard is a corner of Clos des Roches. The wine has a beautifully mineralic nose: dense, perfumed and spicy with beautifully elegant dark cherry and plum fruit. The palate is profound with lovely elegant dark cherry fruit and some spicy tannins. Grainy structure with beautiful minerality. Fantastically expressive wine. 94/100

Dujac Clos St-Denis Grand Cru 2007
Wonderfully aromatic swet, pure dark cherry fruit nose is really elegant and silky, with some subtle green sappy notes adding interest. The palate has power and elegance with lovely freshness. Bright and vibrant with dark cherry fruit and fine-grained structure. Beautiful. 96/100

Dujac Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2007
Lovely expressive dark cherry and blackberry nose: brooding, sweet and perfumed. The palate is amazingly dense with beautiful spicy, firm structure. Dense and expressive with amazing personality, combining power with finesse. Grippy structure. 96/100

Dujac Clos St-Denis Grand Cru 2001
Very perfumed, open, elegantly expressive sweet cherry fruit nose. The palate shows lovely pure fruit and delicious structure with good acidity. Suberbly elegant and beginning to open out. 94/100

Dujac Clos de la Roche Grand Cru 2001
Robust, sweet, perfumed spicy nose shows hints of earth with some tarriness in the background. The palate is herby and dense with lovely structure and elegance. Powerful with grippy spicy notes. Structured and intense, this needs more time. 96/100

Dujac Clos St-Denis Grand Cru 1990
More evolved, with a beautiful nose that’s open, sweet, lively and elegant, with hints of undergrowth and red cherries. The palate is open and leafy with lovely sappy, elegant sweet cherry fruit and a mineralic undercurrent. A little earthy, but minerally and precise, this is drinking perfectly now. 95/100

Dujac Morey-St-Denis Blanc Village 2007
Rich but balanced, with nicely mineral notes and citrus freshness under the dense nutty, herby fruit. There’s a touch of fennel, too. Taut and quite dense with nice character. 91/100

Joseph Drouhin
J-P Fichet
Pierre Morey/Morey Blanc
Louis Latour
Domaine Dujac
Sylvain Cathiard
Clos du Tart

Wines tasted 06/09  
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