Duval Leroy

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Family owned for six generations, Duval-Leroy is run by Carol Duval, one of the formidable widows of Champagne, who took over in 1991 after the untimely death of her husband, Jean-Charles. She has propelled the house to new levels of excellence and admiration. Based in the village of Vertus among the best Chardonnay vineyards of the Cote des Blancs, the house was once known for producing ‘buyer’s own-brand’ champagne. Their focus is now entirely on producing top quality champagnes with a feminine elegance.

69 Avenue de Bammental, Vertus. +33 (3) 26 52 10 75

The Wines

Duval-Leroy Brut Reserve

A non-vintage representation of the house style, this cuvee is made with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes from 15 crus combined with a considerable addition of reserve wines.

Duval-Leroy Demi-Sec

90% Pinot Noir and Meunier, 10% Chardonnay. A champagne to complement to sweet, fruity desserts. 
 
Duval-Leroy Brut AB

100% Pinot Noir. This wine has received the Ecocert organic certification to guarantee that the grapes were farmed organically.
 
Duval-Leroy Fleur de Champagne Brut Premier Cru

Around 75% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir. This cuvee was created by Raymond Duval in 1911, and was the first Premier Cru champagne ever marketed.
 
Duval-Leroy Rose Prestige Brut 

90% Pinot Noir, 10% Chardonnay from Premier Cru and Grand Cru vineyards. Made with the saignee method, and aged for at least 3 years. 

Duval-Leroy Design Paris

An elegant silk-screened depiction of Paris adorns the bottle designed by the American painter LeRoy Neiman. Chardonnay from the Cote des Blancs and Trepail is blended with Pinot Noir from the Montagne de Reims.
 
Duval-Leroy Clos des Bouveries

100% Premier Cru Chardonnay, this vintage champagne is produced using grapes from the Clos des Bouveries vineyard (3.53 ha), an east-facing plot which Duval-Leroy has owned for over 100 years. Partially fermented in oak barrels for texture and partially in stainless steel tanks for purity of mineral character.
 
Duval-Leroy Femme de Champagne 

Around 75% Chardonnay, 25% Pinot Noir from a single vintage. The Chardonnay comes from several parcels in Grand Cru communes: Mont-Aigu (in Chouilly), Chapelle (Avize), Terre de Noel (Oger), and Chetillon and Aillerand (Le Mesnil-sur-Oger). The parcels of Chardonnay are vinified separately in oak barrels before blending. A touch of Pinot Noir is added to impart roundness and character. 

Duval-Leroy Femme de Champagne Rose de Saignee

100% Pinot Noir from Vertus from a single vintage.  One of the few rose champagnes to be made by the saignee method.
 
Duval-Leroy Authentis Cumieres 

100% organically farmed Pinot Noir from a single vintage in the Premier Cru village of Cumieres.  The must is transferred to oak barrels at the end of the alcoholic fermentation, where it is kept on the lees for 9 months and undergoes malolactic fermentation. The wine is bottle aged for a minimum of 36 months before disgorgement.

 
Duval-Leroy Authentis Petit Meslier

This unusual vintage cuvee is made with 100% Petit Meslier, which is one of the permitted, but almost extinct, white grape varieties in Champagne. Petit Meslier is highly aromatic, with herbal and green apple flavours.
 
Duval-Leroy Cuvee des Roys

82% Chardonnay, 18% Pinot Noir.  All grapes come from Grands Cru villages in the Cote des Blancs, Montagne de Reims and Vallee de la Marne.

History of the House

Independent and 100% family-owned for over 150 years, the house of Duval-Leroy was established in 1859 with the merger of two growers in Vertus. Their children married, and the house is now in the sixth generation of family ownership. Since the beginning, the wines of Duval-Leroy have garnered praise and recognition – even winning first prize at the Universal Exhibition in Barcelona as far back as 1888.
 
Raymond Duval-Leroy, in 1911, marketed the very first Premier Cru champagne – the Fleur de Champagne Brut Premier Cru. A blend of 75% Chardonnay and 25% Pinot Noir, Raymond chose the name because he thought the wine smelled like flowers on the vine in June.
 
In 1991, Carol Duval-Leroy appointed Sandrine Logette-Jardin, a qualified oenologist, and she soon became their head winemaker – the first female chef de cave to hold the title in Champagne.

Vineyards and Winemaking

Duval-Leroy has one of the largest holdings of estate vineyards in Champagne, with 200 hectares. They own parcels in all the Grand Cru villages of the Cote des Blancs, and almost half of their total plantings are in Grand or Premier Cru villages. The Chardonnay grape - with its finesse, elegance and freshness - is at the heart of the house style. They do buy in grapes to meet their production needs, but never must.
 
All the vineyards are farmed with organic or biodynamic approaches and harvests come from over 60 different villages. For this reason, Duval-Leroy has five pressing centers located throughout Champagne with a total of 16 presses so that the grapes can be handled quickly to avoid oxidation.
 
Extremely focused on care for the environment and lowering their impact on it, Duval-Leroy has implemented many strategies to improve waste management and conserve water. In the winery, they use solar panels for heating. They have also installed a water recycling system, which has led to a 30% decrease in their water usage.
 
Individual plots are fermented separately in small stainless steel tanks, and ageing for the majority of the cuvees takes place in oak casks. Unusually, in 2015 the company took the step of announcing that their entire range of wines is 100% vegan-friendly. Duval-Leroy experimented to arrive at a suitable method of natural clarification, which involves leaving the wines to settle for around three months longer than is typical in vats and in barrels. They are convinced that natural clarification also gives smaller bubbles and a fuller, richer flavour.