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The February 2023 Auction: Part 1

Auction # 748 | View Auction Schedule and Details
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Auction Ends: 2/2/2023 6:00:00 PM PDT

Lot #118. Dugat-Py Charmes-Chambertin Vieilles Vignes 2017

Description: Consists of 6 Bottles, 0.75L
Packaging: OWC.
Score: 96 WA.
"I have already tasted the 2017 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru three or four times since it was bottled, and it is an immensely appealing young wine that exemplifies the stylistic evolution that Loïc Dugat-Py has subtly enacted at this estate since taking the helm a few years ago. Soaring from the glass with an expressive bouquet of cherries, licorice and sweet coniferous forest floor, it's full-bodied, ample and exquisitely velvety, with a deep and concentrated core, mouthwateringly succulent acids and a long, intense finish. More immediate and overtly charming than the Lavaux Saint-Jacques, anyone who wants to understand contemporary Dugat-Py could be forgiven for tasting a bottle young. Loïc Dugat-Py was one of the first to harvest in 2018, beginning on August 29, and he has been rewarded by an exemplary set of wines that numbers among the vintage's very finest. The Dugat-Py 2018 collection, moreover, underlines this domaine's recent evolution. As ever, these are deep and concentrated wines, the product of low yields and old vines, but as has been the case for several years, extraction continues to be gentler. And Loïc has furthermore quietly reduced, once again, the percentage of new oak used here. Where until recently 100% new was the order of the day from all premiers and grands crus—and sometimes for communal appellations, too—that has been much reduced; indeed, while I eschew judging wines by numbers, they do tell an interesting story here, so I've noted the percentage of new oak employed for each cuvée to underline this subtle but important shift. Loïc has also spent some time tasting and discussing with Max Gigandet, director of Tonnellerie François Frères, and is happier than ever with the barrels with which he's being supplied. All of which is to say that, even in the inherently ripe and broad-shouldered 2018 vintage, this is one of the most elegant sets of wines ever to emerge from Domaine Dugat-Py. I encourage readers to put outdated stereotypes of excessive oak and over-extraction to one side and try what is being produced today, as these are bottles that number among the finest that contemporary Burgundy has to offer. In addition to the estate's 2018s, which I reviewed from representative barrel samples, I also tasted an extensive range of 2017s from bottle—including all the domaine's rare white wines and even their minuscule cuvée of Chambertin—and I am happy to report that they fully met the lofty expectations I formed last year. As I wrote on that occasion, Loïc Dugat-Py opted to prune and debud aggressively when faced with the prospect of a bountiful crop. But when even the domaine's oldest vines set too much fruit, he took the decision to green harvest, removing the equivalent of some 15 to 20 barrels of wine. His exigence was rewarded, because in the warm, dry August weather, the domaine's vines didn't experience the same hydric stress that blocked maturation in more generously cropped vineyards. Loïc was thus able to begin picking on September 2, making him once again one of the earliest in the Côte de Nuits. Yields ranged between 20 and 32 hectoliters per hectare—less than what many producers harvest in a small vintage—of clean and healthy grapes. Fermentations in wooden and cement tanks incorporated large percentages of whole clusters. Revisited from bottle, these are magical wines. Concentrated but exquisitely structurally refined, they burst with expressive, succulent fruit, and I cannot recommend them highly enough." William Kelley, Wine Advocate Interim, Jan 2020
Provenance: The Besançon Cellar
Lot Location: Orange County
Estimate: $3,000

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