François Feuillet

The A-team of François Feuillet and David Duband is so successful that it merits three stars in the latest 2016 La Revue des Vins de France guide - a tiny elite group including DRC, Leroy, Roumier, and Rousseau - and yet I sense people don’t really know exactly what they’re getting or indeed appreciate the relative value; yes, sir, there is top-end value in Burgundy!
 
Let me explain. Monsieur Feuillet (picture below) is a ‘hard-knocks’, sixty-something, Burgundy-loving magnate and Duband is a suave, jovial, highly-talented winemaker. Understanding the scarcity of great terroir (and I mean great!), Feuillet has smartly used his entrepreneurial wealth to accumulate a noble collection of vineyards, including the feted Truchot estate and parcels from Louis Rémy.
 
When François bought the undervalued Nuits Aux Thorey in 1991, the vineyard worker’s son was a very young Duband (picture below), fresh from wine school. François backed him and the two have worked in a 50:50 partnership ever since. While there is banter, it is clear their bond is strong and resourceful.  François owns and seeks out the vineyards, David farms and produces the wine. Both labels are identical bottles; simple strategy and yet …
 
One further point is that - with his ‘big picture’ mind-set and personal means - François is not seeking vast rewards for selling his wine, just a fair price. He wants customers to pull corks and enjoy with friends. Indeed, at lunch in Nuits, he told me …”prices for 2014 vintage will be unchanged. Yes it is true… no increase. This year, please take the currency into play and reduce your selling price in the UK.” I am certainly not about to contradict Monsieur Feuillet.