Dudley & de Fleury Wines: “it’s easy to fall in love with Fanny”

It has clearly been a hectic few months for the two Richards, Dudley and de Fleury. Operating for just over a year, they are still in the process of putting together their full range. Nonetheless, there were 75 wines on show at their recent tasting from their developing list.

They make an interesting double act, and their contrasting styles will no doubt be a strength for their business. Dudley is more of the old school, with a couple of decades of food and wine experience under his belt. He’s cooked in restaurants, run a delicatessen, worked in wineries in Australia and California and is studying for the Master of Wine.

De Fleury is young, enthusiastic, and still sports an antipodean twang from his years working in the wine industry in New Zealand. Until recently he managed The Winery, and excellent wine shop in Maida Vale, London, where he developed a love for Pinot Noir, particularly German and Burgundian.

One Pinot producer they are particularly fond of is 28-year-old Fanny Sabre, a producer in the Côte de Beaune. She has 4.5ha of vines in various appellations in and around Beaune, and does everything herself, from working the vineyards and making the wine right down to hand bottling and labelling. With no new oak, organic practices and only using minimal sulphur, her wines have a light, delicate and pure style. The reds were a little stronger than the whites. Her Aloxe-Corton 2009 in particular, I must agree, is easy to love – but it’s a touch on the pricey side (£38.95).

The Richards’ enthusiasm for small, artisanal estates is clearly genuine and evident from their selection – all of the producers they work with are exclusive to Dudley & de Fleury Wines. Though their list is almost entirely made up of organic or biodynamic wines, they have no time for natural or orange wines, which Dudley sees as a fad. I’m looking forward to seeing what other estates they uncover during their travels.



Some highlights:



Château de Minière, ‘Chevalier de Minière’, 2010  
100% Cabernet Franc grapes from Bourgueil, Loire, France
£12.95 available at Dudley & de Fleury Wines

Lovely leafy cassis nose. Tannic still, and lots of acidity. Spicy blackcurrant. Lacks a bit of finesse, but not shy or weedy. 87 points, good value.

Domaine du Deffends, ‘Champs de Truffière’, 2005  
A blend of 50% Cabernet Sauvignon and 50% Syrah grapes from Provence, France
£18.95 available at Dudley & de Fleury Wines

Smells of baked berry fruits, juicy and vibrant. Touch of leather. Mostly fruit flavours on the palate. Full-bodied but not heavy. Rich, ripe, ready, and very drinkable. 90 points, fair value.

Domaine de l’Olivette, ‘L’Olivette Rouge’, 2007
A blend of Grenache and Mourvèdre grapes from Bandol, France
£19.95 available at Dudley & de Fleury Wines

Spicy licorice and mocha on the nose, with blackberries and strawberries. Same intense fruits in the mouth. Firm ripe tannins, plenty of acidity and body. 91 points, fair value.



Domaine des Ramparts, Bourgogne Aligoté, 2010  
100% Aligoté grapes from Burgundy, France
£12.95 available at Dudley & de Fleury Wines

Pale gold. Bright, lively citrussy nose. Medium to full-bodied, with good acidity and bite. Very dry, minerally finish. Good for an aligoté. 88 points, good value.

Cosimo Maria Masini, ‘Daphne’, 2008
100% Trebbiano grapes from Tuscany, Italy  
£22.95 available at Dudley & de Fleury Wines

Pale copper in colour. Intensely woody, spicy nose with Indian spices (turmeric). Clearly has spent a long time on the skins. Faint oxidative element. Full-bodied, but with freshness and perfume. Balanced, with a tangy finish. Very unusual for a Trebbiano, but certainly interesting, and well put together. 90 points, fair value.