2014 Burgundy En Primeur: David Duband (Chevannes)

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The biennial Grands Jours de Bourgogne trade fair came and went. WEA spent a week in Burgundy last month catching up with the Domaines we work with and sussing out hidden gems in the haystack. Trust me, with up to 100 wineries and easily 1000 wines available for tasting per day, its no mean feat separating the wheat from the chaff. However, there’s no mistaking greatness and we’ve found it in the form of David Duband.

*Three Star Domaine in the 2016 La Revue des Vins de France, the authoritative wine guide in France.*

So who is David Duband? The humble vigneron started out in 1991 with 1.5 ha of vines from his father who worked at the local cooperative. His talent and hard work over the years caught the eye of Parisian lawyer cum investor, Francois Feuillet who entrusted him to makewines from some vineyards that he bought in 2006. Those were not some ordinary vineyards though. They were vines previously farmed by the legendary Jacky Truchot from Domaine Truchot-Martin before he retired in 2006. Subsequently in 2009, Feuillet further acquired part of Domaine Louis Remy when that was up for sale. Two key vineyards came into the portfolio in this purchase – Latricieres-Chambertin and Le Chambertin. Today Duband manages 17 ha of vineyards, a far cry from his early days. The partnership between Duband and Feuillet is one of trust and respect. Feuillet owns the vines, Duband makes the wines. The bottlings are split equally, so you might see bottles bearing the Duband or Feuillet labels around. Both are exactly the same wine.

“Some years ago, Duband switched to a more elegant style, and since then they have been wines that I consider worth the effort to seek out.”

The Domaine, which is certified organic, makes a pretty incredible range of wines from some of the most desirable vineyards in the Cote de Nuits. The core of the portfolio comes from the ex-Domaine Truchot-Martin which covers Morey St Denis and parts of Gevrey-Chambertin. The vineyard which is closest to Duband‘s heart though is the Nuits St Georges 1er Aux Thorey, the first vineyard he started out with. Duband started experimenting with whole clusters in 2008 and I believe that was the turning point for the Domaine. In the past thewines were merely good, but now they are GREAT!

David Duband‘s wines have very fine terroir expression, are highly perfumed, generally medium bodied and have a vivid clarity and elegance.”
– Greg Love, independent wine geek in “Burgundy Geeks” Facebook group.

We agree completely with Greg Love and we are very lucky that they still have a small allocation available! Needless to say, we are now the proud importer for their wines here. The wines have an alluring clarity and elegance which are hallmarks of great Burgundies. The style is understated, quiet and refined. They remind me a lot of Cecile Tremblay. I have tried the wines years ago but they were frankly not outstanding. Something has changed here andI’m not complaining. David Duband is not a household name in the collector’s circle yet and I wish it will stay that way so more of us can discover and enjoy these fine wines. Truly these are wines which will bowl you over, knock you off your feet and blow you away.