91 Points, David Schildknecht, The Wine Advocate, 22nd Dec 2009
Claude Dugat’s 2006 Charmes Chambertin (from true Charmes, and spared hail, he avows) is enormously deep and dark both in color and in sweet black fruit intensity, peaty smokiness, bitter-sweet chocolate, and charred meat. An invigorating sense of salinity and of fruit skin chew provides counterpoint to the sheer richness and viscosity, but in the finish the whiplash of tannins brings both that richness and the taster’s palate to heel. Resin and cedar notes reminiscent of barrel are threaded throughout. For now, at least, this is less focused than the Lavaux, but it takes a back seat to no 2006 in sheer finishing intensity or darkness of personality. I would anticipate it demanding 4-5 years in bottle, after which it will probably remain in robust health for at least another 6-8.
“I like the 2006s a lot for their very Pinot character, their elegance, and the expression of their respective terroirs,” says Claude Dugat, echoing the sentiment expressed by a great many growers about this vintage, and adding that his crop’s potential alcohol levels were significantly lower than in 2005. That said, richness and robustness nearly always seem to be in the cards at this address, and in fact the 2006 collection displays formidable density and tanninity, the latter at times reinforced by the effects of new wood. Dugat admits ? again, echoing the observation of numerous growers ? that his 2006s put on weight and structure in the course of elevage. (The suggested pricing I received for these wines seemed implausibly high, incidentally, and I tempered it in response to spot-checking. But it should be noted that market prices for these wines are both especially high and highly variable.)