The label indicated that the wine was made at the Claude Dugat winery from purchased fruit, but I had never heard of such a project. A google search revealed little insight, but I was able to solve the mystery by scanning through the Mark Squire’s Bullentin Board on eRobertParker.com. A gentleman located in Tokyo named Ernie Singer posted on the board that the wines under the Vin Selectionne et eleve par la Famille Claude Dugat label were made by Claude’s son (Bertrand) and daughter (Laetitia). Both kids studied under their father and the first vintage produced was 2002. The wine was either made from purchased grapes or must. Mr. Singer claims to have purchased the entire production of the negociant wines and, therefore, they are only available in Japan.
I was thirsty after conducting such an exhausting background check and thankfully the wine proved to be delicious. The bottle did not show any of the green notes that have plagued many of the red wines from the 2004 vintage. On the nose, the wine revealed red fruits and a touch of earth. Medium-bodied, it was elegant and full of vibrant fruit. A touch of new wood framed the flavors. I thoroughly enjoyed the wine, and it showed the skill of a talented winemaker(s). One mystery still remains unsolved, however. How does a wine destined for Tokyo end up in New Jersey? Could the wine be a part of a larger illegal import business involving corrupt politicians? No way, not in Jersey.