Robert Parker 94
Black tea, herbal essences, tar, dried blood, and concentration of tiny black raspberries are suggested on the nose and palate of Dujac’s 2008 Bonnes Mares. For all of its density, this exhibits invigorating primary juiciness, finishing with spirit-lifting, exuberant buoyancy and a nearly indelible paving of berry and herb essences, tar, graphite, and white pepper. This is a terrific ambassador for its vintage ” I find it hard to imagine another year in which it could have been grown ” and one that should perform admirably for another 12-15 years. The Dujac 2008s were not racked until last December, and bottling took place January through March. â€œThe malic acid numbers were high-ish, but not significantly higher than in, say, 2006 or 2001,â€ says Jeremy Seysses in an effort to explain what he admitted were â€œfor us, excessively late malos. I have a feeling it was a lack of nutrients that were wash out,â€ he continues, since, after all, â€œit rained a lot in 2008â€ with, he adds, â€œpoor fruit set proving to be the vintage’s saving grace. I think we would actually have had less to harvest (i.e. worth keeping) if we had had a better fruit set. There was rot, but can you find it in any of the wines? That’s a credit to how far Burgundy has come along in terms of sortingâ€ (which Dujac does exclusively in the vineyard, not on sorting tables ” the name of their U.S. importer ironically notwithstanding). â€œI didn’t love my lack of options in 2007,â€ says Seysses of the preceding season, â€œso we picked early ” earlier even than in 2003.â€ In vinification â€œwe decided not to force too much, and just to keep it charming,â€ which is exactly how I thought the wines turned out. â€œAt Domaine Dujac, we’re never been that attached to deep color, so we’re quite tolerant (in that regard), and the least thing we wanted to do was make hard wines. I de-stemmed more (than usual, or than in 2008). The fruit felt fragile, so in barrel I kept the wines under a bit more free sulfur than usual, which reinforced their lightness.â€ Seysses opines that 2007 was not a year in which old selections displayed their overall superiority to clones, because â€œif yo(‘re Pinots) were riper earlier, you were ripe while it was raining,â€ whereas in 2008 you could scarcely get too much ripeness. Importer: The Sorting Table, Napa, CA; tel. (415) 491-4724
Anticipated maturity: 2010-2025
Good bright, dark red. Slightly reduced nose offers blackberry, huckleberry, mocha and pepper; quite dense and savory. Then sweet and thick in the mouth but with penetrating racy acidity framing the blackberry, menthol and licorice flavors. Quite closed in the middle for all its texture, but the slowly building, very subtle finish suggests that this will reward extended cellaring. Definitely a more glyceral Bonnes-Mares than the 2001 was, notes Seysses.