During the 11th century, Abbot Halinard instructed for cellars to be built in Gevrey Chambertin as a store for the Abbey of Saint Benigné in Dijon. Nine hundred or so vintages on, the very same vaults shelter the latest batch of exulted offerings from Domaine Dugat-Py.
It’s a fitting home for what is indisputably one of Burgundy’s greatest and grandest domaines. Dugat-Py is rightly whispered with reverence in the same breath as Roumier, Rousseau, or Domaine de la Romanée-Conti. It’s followed assiduously the world over by passionate collectors and wine trade insiders.
You’d be excused for dismissing it as too rare, too expensive, too ‘closed-shop’ to be of interest to more humble Burgundy enthusiasts, but that would be a great mistake. These are wines of profound importance to Burgundian heritage that simply must be experienced. A cellar without Dugat-Py is like poetry without Byron or music without Beethoven. You don’t need to own a first edition. A bottle of mature Bourgogne Rouge or village Gevrey is the perfect introduction to this inimitable, timeless Burgundy.
Bernard Dugat can trace his winemaking lineage through his grandmother all the way back to 1645; though the ‘Dugat’ label itself began in 1923 with the marriage of Fernand Dugat and Jeanne Bolnot. You get the feeling that each generation – Bernard’s son Loïc will be the thirteenth – is not only a steward of this magnificent terroir but also of the spirit and style of méthode ancienne Burgundy – the production of grandiose wines of profound scale and concentration, designed for long cellar ageing.
The style and substance of Dugat-Py is only possible because of the quality of their terroir. Farming here is all organic and done by hand and horse alone. Bernard employs five people, full time, to work just ten hectares of vines. Faultless selections of tortuously gnarled old vines gift tiny yields of sumptuous fruit. Picking is relatively early, to retain freshness and definition, while the stems are retained in almost all his cuvées.
Everything about the fermentation is natural and uncomplicated. Bernard has the confidence in his ingredients to extract, and to extract well. Élevage is not shy either. Barrels from François Frères are used for every cuvée, and all new wood for the top wines. The precious Chambertin even gets its own tailor made barrel, fitted to the size of the vintage.
Dugat-Py is not for those seeking instant gratification. These are the essence of vins de garde. Bernard recommends 6-8 years of cellaring for the village wines, ten or more for the grands crus. It’s well worth the wait. Once the tannins begin to melt away, these wines offer an ethereal mixture of power, purity and ghostly grace. Few domaines more clearly reveal the nuance of climat and vintage. This is Burgundy at its mystical, captivating best.
Ordering & Availability
We are immensely proud to have represented Domaine Dugat-Py in the UK for more than twenty years and look forward to many more hence. Over time, we’ve squirreled away a few cases which we are now offering as part of a special feature on the domaine’s wines. This is probably one of the most extensive and well-priced offerings of Dugat-Py available anywhere on the market today. Have a look at the full list via the button below.