2013 Gevrey Chambertin Lavaux St Jacques Claude Dugat



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£1,354.00
£115.00

Average critic rating : 89.0 points

88-90

88-90

The 2013 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Lavaux St Jacques, which, like all of the crus, is 100% new oak, has a clean, quite linear bouquet with dark berry fruit that at the moment shows quite a lot of wood. The palate is medium-bodied, fleshy in the mouth, with sappy red fruit, the oak better integrated here than on the nose since there is more fruit to carry it on the finish. There is a pleasant spicy aftertaste struggling to express itself under the wood, so hopefully that will surface during bottle age. I remain cautious at the moment. ||I have been visiting this "cult" domaine for several years, always a memorable rendezvous in their former 13th-century tithe barn. This year was perhaps the most interesting, however. Instead of Claude showing me through the wines, it was his son Bertrand. He said that his father was easing back his involvement in the domaine, which means Bertrand has large shoes to fill. I detected a slight nervousness and trepidation, a sense of self-questioning, possibly a tinge of disquietude. Those are good signs, not bad. It is a positive sign to see someone contemplating a legacy, what kind of future might be their own. Bertrand clearly does not want to change too much at the domaine, yet knows that he has to put his own imprint on the wines. He remarked that they had not found it easy to cool the fruit when it arrived at reception, that the temperature of the must "shot right back up," once the alcoholic fermentation started, and that the natural yeasts were very active in 2013. Bertrand also mentioned that 2013 was the first year that they had not commenced the harvest with the Grand Crus, and, like everyone else, they had to chaptalize just a little. No, the main question was whether there is too much new oak being used chez Dugat? It is a question that I have heard a number of Burgundy-lovers express, for clearly while the family oversees prized parcels of vine and the winemaking is meticulous, several I know eschew their wines because they find the new oak too dominant. Tasting through the 2013s, I did feel that the use of the François Frères barrels was conspicuous on the village crus and the perhaps also the Lavaux Saint Jacques. While I would not avoid new oak entirely, I would have modified it commensurate with the growing season. I feel that less new wood would have allowed the terroir to be articulated. And it seemed that Bertrand felt likewise. In some ways, this self-questioning reminded me of when Sébastien Cathiard took over from his father, Sylvain. I remember him asking the same question, myself offering the same answers. It will be interesting to see how the new chapter unfolds at Claude Dugat. Bertrand does not have too much to worry about. Being cautious and self-critical are facets of the best vignerons. eRobertParker.com.December, 2014

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