Est. 2001. Importer & Distributor of Fine Wine, Craft Spirits, and Ginjo Sake
Home | News | Duval-Leroy: a name we should be a little more familiar
Duval-Leroy: a name we should be a little more familiar
Duval-Leroy remains, at the beginning of the 21st Century, a family-owned firm; for that we should be grateful, as Champagne has already had more than its fair share of big business buyouts. Also, the range of wines has a number of surprisingly good high-points (although there are also some low-points), considering that this name is not one bandied about alongside other favorites such as Bollinger or Pol Roger; yet another reason to be grateful. Duval-Leroy is perhaps a name with which we should be a little more familiar.
Established in 1859, Duval-Leroy has been, for over a century, an 'also-ran'. Good wines were made here, but nothing to challenge the real grandes-marques of Champagne. In recent years, however, this situation has been turned around. The change came in 1991, when Carol Duval-Leroy took on the mantle of running the family firm, following the death of her husband. Carol's dynamic influence on the company, together with the applied skills of winemaker Hervé Jestin, has been a great benefit. Since she assumed control, quality at Duval-Leroy has soared, and during the 1990s the wines were easily of the quality one expects from a grande marque. Carol shifted the focus of Duval-Leroy away from producing Buyer's-Own-Brand wines, and turned her attention to building up the Duval-Leroy brand. Updating, innovating and improving was the name of the game. Many of the wines which today form part of the Duval-Leroy range have been introduced by Carol during the 1990s, including the Femme prestige cuvée. Her influence has been considerable, and it extends beyond the limits of her own house; in 2007 Carol Duval-Leroy became the first woman to take up the position of president of the Association Viticole Champenoise, a local trade organisation.
Duval-Leroy is based in Vertus, a village in the Côte de Blancs, and is now one of the largest land-owners in all Champagne. The firm owns vineyards in all the Grand Cru villages of the Côte des Blancs. A number of the wines reflect this location, as they demonstrate a certain quality of Chardonnay not to be found elsewhere. The house style here is elegance, freshness, with good fruit. This should be carried throughout the range, which is extensive, including several non-vintage cuvées, rosés and prestige wines.
Article written by Chris Kissack for www.thewinedoctor.com
Duval-Leroy wines in Cream Wine Company's portfolio
Duval-Leroy 1998 Blancs des Chardonnay 91pts WS 12/2006