Robert Parker 96
The 2012 Clos Saint Denis Grand Cru has an intense, broody bouquet with dark plum, blackcurrant, undergrowth and mushroom scents that unfold in the glass. The palate is very well balanced, the tannins a little chalkier than the Echezeaux with great tension on the spicy finish. Superb persistency here with a lovely savory, cured meat note emerging with aeration. This grand cru performed so well in 2012 due to wines such as this. 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.
The 2012 Clos St. Denis has turned out beautifully. Once of the more immediate and supple of the Grand Crus, the 2012 is built on a core of super-expressive, resonant fruit. There is plenty of depth, especially on the substantial finish, but the overall impression is of silkiness and softness, in relative terms, of course. Sweet red cherry, plum, mint and orange peel add the final layers of nuance.
Anticipated maturity: 2022-2042