Improving one’s knowledge about wine requires a progressive learning curve: if you drink a lot, you learn a lot, of course what is important is variety rather than quantity! It is possible to speed up the process by multiplying the number of tasting sessions, but your liver is bound to suffer. My choice fell on the area of Burgundy, for reasons of taste and ease, where I have elected the wonderful Domaine Dujac. Why leave the Garden of Eden when you have the fortune to have been allowed in?
The friendship between the Seysses and Chaligné families dates back sixty years to the time when Jacques Seysses, then a brilliant young skier, was gliding down the slopes with my father, Jean-Claude, 10 years his senior, under the benevolent eye of their respective parents. Nowadays I go to Morey-Saint-Denis every year with my family to pick up a few bottles from a parcel which is vinified by Domaine Dujac and to get an update on the next vintage. I also take the opportunity to catch up with the Seysses family, which has expanded considerably; Alec, Jeremy and his wife Diana work on the Domaine and Paul is developing a fast food chain.
Domaine Dujac is situated in Burgundy on the commune of Morey-Saint-Denis in between Chambolle-Musigny and Gevrey-Chambertin. This area, called the Côte de Nuits, is one of the most prestigious subdivisions in Burgundy
Domaine Dujac was founded by Jacques Seysses in 1967. Jacques was not a model student, but he had a taste for the good life and was soon introduced to wine and the best restaurants by his father Louis, who was president of the Belin Biscuit group and even more importantly president of the prestigious gastronomic club, « le Club des Cents ». Jacques lost no time in explaining to his father that he would never make a banker and that what really interested him was wine making. In 1965, thanks to a friend of his father, Jacques became a co-partner of the wonderful Domain de la Pousse d’Or in Volnay. But Jacques was keen to run his own vineyard and the opportunity arose two years later at the end of 1967 : Jacques was able to buy the Domaine of Marcel Graillet in Morey-Saint-Denis which covered 4.5 hectares and included some of the best appellations on the commune : Clos de la Roche and Clos Saint Denis.
In less than 30 years, with the help of his wife Rosalind, Jacques has managed to join the super élite of Burgundy wine makers. No other Domaine has achieved a similar level of recognition so quickly. This is all the more astonishing given that the previous Domaine undertook neither the process of vinification, nor the bottling, on site.
Today the domaine covers about 16 hectares including the recent addition of the prestigious Vosnes-Romanée 1er cru Les Malconsorts. The Grand Cru wines benefit from 100% new barrels and the premier Cru 50%.
Jacques Seysses is a specialist and precursor of organic and bio-dynamic agricultural techniques. He uses no chemical products and fertilizers have been banned. During the harvesting the Domaine employs a large number of workers in order to optimize the highest standard of sorting. He believes that the stems absorb the hard tannins and increase the wine’s complexity. Its color becomes lighter, the degree of alcohol diminishes and the floral bouquet is increased. Fermentation lasts 10-15 days and the storage in barrels about 15 months. The wines are not filtered and are available two years after harvesting. Jacques and his team favor fruit and soft tannins over strength. His wines are elegant and complex and respect the raw product from which they are made.