Domaine Dujac Dinner with Alec Seysses
For all those who joined our Dujac dinner last month with Alec & Paul Seysses, it was a memorable and enthralling evening at Tredwells in Covent Garden. For me, my first event working on the Stannary team, it was unforgettable.
The evening started with a sampling of the 2016s, all cask samples collected from the Domaine a few days before. Click here for our offer, Jason’s prose and tasting notes on the vintage. It was my first experience of their 2016s, and I was reminded why these are amongst the most sought-after wines of Burgundy, in any year. My stand-outs were Gevrey Combottes, Malconsorts, Clos de la Roche and Clos St Denis but I'd be happy to have any of these wines in my cellar. The dinner was book-ended with blind wines. With the room eagerly awaiting Alec’s introduction of the Domaine and the first flight of dinner wines, Jason asked what vintage of AR Lenoble Champagne we’d all just enjoyed. Silence. I didn’t hear a single guess. Fast forward to the end of the evening; with 10 more glasses quaffed and palates fine-tuned, the 1976 and its famously hot summer was identified with impressive accuracy. One guest even suggested correctly that it was Morey-St-Denis and not a Grand Cru (as it appeared to me). Most Impressive.
2011 Bonnes Mares Grand Cru
1998 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru en magnum
1997 Echezeaux Grand Cru
2007 Clos St Denis Grand Cru en magnum
2002 Clos St Denis Grand Cru
1999 Clos St Denis Grand Cru
1999 Echezeaux Grand Cru
1999 Clos de la Roche
1999 Bonnes Mares en magnum
2014 Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cru Folatières
The first flight focused on a trio of less-celebrated vintages. The 2011 Bonnes-Mares was relatively backward and showcased youthful dark fruit of impressive weight & depth and a seductive earthy character. It is a wine that demands respect and patience! The 1998 Clos de la Roche is on point now and, for me, a truly emotional wine. Lifted and perfumed, packed with wonderful vibrant and pure (whole-bunch) red fruit and rose petal. Though it felt fully resolved I suspect there will be many happy years ahead for well-stored bottles of this beautiful wine. There were mixed views on the 1997 Echezeaux. Damp hay and mushroom notes were initially present on the bottle poured at my table and there was an unmistakable greenness to the fruit. But with time in the glass the palate came together and won over all but the harshest critics!
The 2nd flight was a study of the great Clos St Denis vineyard. Dujac own 1.47ha of Clos St Denis, 1ha of which dates back to the creation of the Domaine in 1967 and the remainder purchased in 1977. Dujac obsessives have long argued a preference of either Clos St Denis or the more famed and powerful Clos de la Roche. As it was, my favourite wines of the evening were the 1998 & 1999 Clos de la Roche and 2002 Clos St Denis, so I have one foot clearly planted both camps. There was a refined and complex feel to this trio of Clos St Denis. Where Clos de La Roche appeals to the heart, Clos St Denis makes you think. The aforementioned 2002 was subtle yet spectacular, delicate yet oozing class and drinking quite beautifully now. The 1999 is more intense and structured and needs time in the glass to come round. It's an intellectual wine of great balance with Dujac's trademark silky tannins and an intensity that grows towards a long finish.
The flight to accompany the main course, a delicious rack of lamb, included three more legendary 1999s. I rather felt for the Echezeaux; on any other night this would have shone as it's undoubtedly a great and complex Echezeaux, but it suffers next to the Clos de la Roche which, for many, was the Wine Of The Night. Mineral and taut, yet packed with rich, almost decadent red fruits, it's still a baby - a profound wine to watch over the next 30+ years. The final 1999, Bonnes Mares, needed time in the glass to open up. It combines power with elegance and had me barking out the over-used phrase 'iron fist in a velvet glove'.
Before we reached the extraordinary 1976 Morey-St-Denis, we were treated to a thoroughly enjoyable glass of Puligny-Montrachet 1er Cu Folatieres. This 2014, Dujac's first vintage, is precise and mineral-rich with a touch of gun-flint reduction - it's a style of P-M I adore and look forward to sampling it each vintage.
I should mention the restaurant: an excellent show from Tredwells with prompt and well-directed service. The food was delicious but not obtrusive, letting the wines take centre stage throughout.
I would like to thanks Alec and Paul for joining us in London for this dinner and for talking us through the Domaine's history, the wines we enjoyed throughout the evening, and for providing the 1976 from the family vault. Such events take weeks of planning. I'd like to thank Emily for co-ordinating the event and Jason for hosting.
Finally, particular thanks must also go to Ron Morton. Ron provided several of the wines from his cellar despite having to make the heart-breaking decision not to join the evening.