Gevrey-Chambertin, Burgundy, France
The Domaine Claude Dugat is a small domain in the municipality of Gevrey-Chambertin, which produces elegant wines on 6 hectares of cultivation area. The head of the domaine is Claude Dugat - the fifth generation of Dugat in Gevrey-Chambertin.
Claude is convinced that with heavy pruning, not only the yields, but also the foliage area and thus the sugar production decrease. A green harvest may produce small, concentrated grapes that are harvested when ripe - but not overripe so that they have enough acidity. All the vineyards are plowed, a quarter of them by horse. Weed killers and chemical fertilizers are frowned upon.
The vinification takes place largely according to traditional methods. The grapes are handpicked and brought to the Cuverie. The grape bunches are 100% destemmed and fermented naturally in open cement vats. The pomace hat is submerged twice a day (pigeage). A pumping over is dispensed in order to avoid the associated and undesirable enrichment with oxygen. The temperature must not exceed 32 ° C. The aim is to remove only the softer, smoother tannins from the grapes. Claude doesn't like tannin-heavy wines. The wine is drawn off after about 15 days. The shells are pressed in a modern Vaslin-Bucher compressed air press. After a 48-hour preclarification (débourbage), the wine is brought to the barrique cellar on the hill. After the malolactic fermentation is complete, usually in the spring after the harvest, a first racking takes place, directly before the bottle is drawn, about 15-17 months after the harvest, a second one.
The domaine has been working without fining and filtering since 1988; Claude buys his barriques exclusively from François Frères. The Premiers and the Grands Crus are aged 100% in new Allier barrels, the Gevrey-Chambertin at 60%. The Bourgogne Rouge is aged in 1 year old oak barrels. The latter is one of the best Bourgogne Rouge in the village. It comes from vines outside the appellation, is a full-bodied and elegant wine that often dominates the Gevrey-Chambertin from less quality-conscious producers. More than half of all parcels in the domain are reserved for the production of Gevrey-Chambertin. It is a wine with a lot of body and structure as well as a pronounced oak note at a young age, but with the potential to mature into a great wine.
As a rule, Claude vinifies two Premier Cru wines. These are cuvées from vines in Craipillot and La Perrière, two very different terroirs. Craipillot, at the foot of the Combe de Lavaux, gives the wine lively fruit and a ripe, velvety texture. La Perrière, with a hard rocky subsoil, produces stricter, more tannic wines. The cuvée knows how to convince. It is a full-bodied, elegant wine that inspires at a young age and yet has a lot of potential to mature into a top wine. The Lavaux St-Jacques is even more structured and concentrated, a wonderful, full-bodied wine of Grand Cru quality.