David Duband is fast becoming a name to be reckoned with in Burgundy. Since his first vintage in 1991, while still studying Oenology at Beaune University, he has gained control of his family vineyards and now runs a thriving business as both a winemaker and negociant. The family held some serious vineyard holdings in some of the principle communes in the Cotes de Nuits - Nuits St Georges, Echezeaux, Gevrey-Chambertin and Vosne Romanee. Until David took over in 1995 they sold their crops on to other negociants, but since then he has been crafting attention grabbing wines and also now runs a negociant business. Until I started here I had never heard of him, but at some stage my predecessor Phil Dougherty must have recognised some potential, because my cellar is chock a block with Duband wines.
The first time that I tasted a Duband burgundy (it was a Nuits 1er Cru "les Chaboeufs") I was struck by the depth of the wine, its power and grip on the palate. It was a very masculine wine, with a good deal of tannin to support the full bodied nature of it. It had an animal quality to it, that is, it was more gamey and meaty on the nose than light and fruity. But when you worked at the nose the fruit came forward - darker, more concentrated fruit with earthy tones of anise and mace. I wasnt used to it, and at first my mind turned towards faults, maybe this was Brettanomyces that I had heard about, but arent too sure whether Ive noticed it. But then when you taste the wine, all thoughts of faults vanish. This is a well crafted wine, solid structure with medium tannin holding the wine together. Again the fruit is darker, more concentrated and the spices come together on the finish, leaving a long intensely drawn out flavour on your palate. It is very moorish!! Ive since gone back to wines over and over and each time they weave a spell on you. These are wines that give Meo-Cazumet and Domaine de l'Arlot a run for their money and then some, yet wont rip the arse out of your credit limit. If I had the money I would invest in a few cases now, because when people realise the quality of wine that this guy is producing, the price is going to go through the roof. Luckily were sitting on enough stock to keep our prices sensable for the time being.
"Les Proces" is a small lieu-dit sitting south of the village of Nuits-St-Georges, just on the Route des Grands Crus. It is surrounded by the lieu-dits of Les Pruliers to the south, Rue de Chaux to the north and Les Crots to the west. The Route des Grands Crus forms the eastern border.
Nuits St Georges 1er Cru "les Proces" 1999.
The wine has a richly aromatic nose, with a touch of violets and gro-bag earthyness with dark concentrated fruit, strawberries and blackberries. On the palate it brings the fruit flavours more to the fore, with a "gravelly driveway" like minerality and a solid tannic presense, just beginning to soften. The finish falls a little bit flat for my liking, and Im wondering if this is maybe a bit closed. It is probably about eight months since I last had this wine, and this bottle was more forward on the nose, but not as vibrant on the palate. Might be interesting to taste another bottle in a few months and see what it is doing development wise. Weve only got about a half dozen bottles left. Otherwise a great wine. I must try and get hold of some more recent bottlings and see how the domaine is growing and developing.