A towering, utterly majestic wine, the 2012 Bonnes Mares is the stuff dreams are made of. Within the Dujac range, the Bonnes Mares doesn’t seem to get as much attention as some of the other wines, but its track record over time places it at or near the top in my view, excluding of course the Romanee St. Vivant and Chambertin, both of which have much shorter track records. Beams of tannin, acidity and minerality propel the Bonnes Mares into the stratosphere. The flavors are dark, intense and tightly wound. In other words, this is classic Bonnes Mares that will require a good decade to become approachable, although personally, I would not open a bottle before age twenty. With sufficient bottle age, Dujac’s Bonnes Mares has often developed into a transcendental Burgundy of the very highest level.
Anticipated maturity: 2027-2052
Robert Parker 96
The 2012 Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru has a perfumed, floral, violet-scented bouquet that translates the vagaries of the vineyard and demonstrates life-affirming vivacity. The palate is very refined with superb tannins, the oak just a little more pronounced here, but married with the succulent black fruit with just a hint of black coffee on the long, peacock’s tail finish. This is exquisite: one of the best Bonnes-Mares that I have tasted in 2012. Tasting in the cellars of Domaine Dujac in Morey Saint Denis is always an educational, enlightening experience, granting you a useful picture of how some of the top vineyards performed in the Cote de Nuits during a given year. Alec Seysses was on hand to guide me around his particularly cold cellar, one of those occasions when my warm hands might be bad for pastry, but ideal for warming glasses. â€œIt was the fourth poor year in a row in terms of quantity,â€ he explained, showing me the concrete eggs now employed at the domaine, a less common sight here in Burgundy compared to Bordeaux. â€œalthough in 2012 we had a regular crop of the village crus and the younger vines did well. We averaged around 20 hectoliters per hectare. Everything was racked in early September but there is some reduction from the cold cellar. The softness of the tannins strikes me as a character of the vintage. It is more a dark fruit vintage than a red fruit vintage. Sugars were between 12.5 and 13%, with a few 13.3% here and there. I find the wines similar to 2010, but the 2012 is a little more charming because the tannins are not quite as strong.â€ Tasting through the complete range of wines from the small batch of negociant wines under â€œDujac Fils et Pereâ€ to the clutch of grand crus, it was clear that propitious terroirs that influenced the wines greatly. The village crus were mostly commendable in their own right, but the real excitement begins as you broach the premier crus, where the barrel samples achieve high degrees of complexity and nuance. Like many of the top growers, I was pleased to see individual terroirs articulated with great clarity in 2012, perhaps more so than the 2011s. These barrel samples seemed to contain so much energy: tightly coiled springs of fermented grape juice, brimming with tension and freshness that Jeremy and Alec will endeavor to capture once in bottle. I have little doubt that they will succeed. Importers: The Sorting Table, Napa, CA; tel. (415) 491-4724; Martin Scott Wines, Little Neck, NY; tel. (516) 327-0808; Chambers & Chambers, San Francisco, CA; tel. (415) 642-5500 and though several merchants in the UK including Berry Brother & Rudd.