Dudley-Jones Fine Wine was founded 18 years ago by David Dudley-Jones, as he says “fresh from doing a vintage in Burgundy.” Since then, David has established a highly-respected business that sources a fine range of wines, many of them imported directly, with DJFW acting as exclusive UK Agency. The wines represent the cream of family companies in classic European regions and beyond.
This is a personal selection of fine wines, including special one-off parcels, many of them rare, but all focused on quality and authenticity. The focus is also on value for money: David supplies many top restaurants and independent wine shops, but his own private customers can also access trade prices on his wines.
With the recent launch of his new retail web site, Dudley-Jones Fine Wine has become a sponsor of wine-pages, and subsequently David sent me a dozen wines to try for myself.
I can put hand on heart and say this is a terrific selection of moderately priced wines (including one of my Wines of the Week). It is a very impressive sample of the range, and what’s more, David will supply this same dozen wines to you for £180 including UK mainland delivery – that’s a genuine saving on David’s already keen prices, of £20.
View David’s full portfolio at https://djfw.shop, but please note that to order this case at the special price of £180 you must contact David directly via firstname.lastname@example.org (no ‘uk’) and mention the wine-pages case offer.
I make absolutely no commission or ‘referral fees’ on sales.
Sparkling and White Wines
(2022) Philippe Vermorel's Domaine de Rochemure Crémant is 100% Chardonnay from vineyards in the Beaujolais region, and is a remarkably dry, mineral and featherweight style. It has some biscuity quality, but the rush of lemony and fresh fruit, and zipping, mouth-watering acidity is delightfully crisp and gossamer-light. Perfect as an aperitif, base for a kir royale, or with fish and seafood.
(2022) In the same family hands for 10 generations, this 25 hectare estate makes both dry and sweet wines. The first thing that strikes is the oily, rich mouthfeel of the wine, dominated by a fat lemon and lime juiciness. There is a hint of passion fruit from the Sauvignon content, but it is discreet and the wine is more about citrus, a lightly buttery quality on the mid-palate, and a tangy, grapefruity finish for a food-friendly, versatile and inexpensive wine.
(2022) Founded in 2003, I Stefanini has quickly built a reputation for quality, this 100% Garganega wine being one of three I Stefani Soaves stocked by Dudley Jones. Surprisingly deep buttercup colour with a flash of emerald, the nose has chamomile and spring flowers, a touch of nuttiness and lemon. In the mouth a delightfully zippy and refreshing wine, very good mouthfeel with a slippery texture and fruit moving from apricot and light honey into a zesty but rich finish. A terrific Soave this, with bags of character. Watch the video
for more information and food-matching ideas.
(2022) Unoaked Chardonnay from clay soils, just south of the Mâconnaise, and a lovely, limpid wine reminiscent of the wines from further north. Pale yellow in colour with plenty of succulent fruit aromas, a little like spiced pears and with some interesting floral top notes too. In the mouth it hints at the tropical, peach and even touching on mango, but stays sharp and well-defined with crisp apple and citrus the finishing flavours. Nicely done at a modest price.
(2022) Little brother to the superb 2016 'Binger Quartzit', there's a family resemblance here without a doubt, and at half the price this has massive appeal: the electric frisson of the Binger is dialled back for sure, but it shares the classic purity and lime and lemon zest focus, offering a delightfully dry, filigree Riesling experience that is very satisfying.
(2022) This is a truly gorgeous dry Riesling from two of Riffel's top vineyards, Kirchberg and Scharlachberg. Perhaps it's the high density of quartzite in the soils that adds to its shimmering vibrancy, but it opens with a little gold to the colour and delicate but pungent aromas of flint and lemongrass, with a suggestion of peachy ripeness beneath. In the mouth there is such dazzling brightness to fruit and acidity that it almost feels petillant (which it is not) such is the fizzing, sherbetty focus of fruit and acidity. No need to serve this too cold. It is quite brilliant and very good value.
(2022) Though he has vineyards in various of the Cru villages, apparently winemaker Philippe Vermorel rates this as his personal favourite. I can see why with its joyous, smile-inducing aromas, so sleek and bursting with firm black cherry and zippy raspberry, the merest touch of lipsticky, more floral lift in the background. On the palate it really is a smooth devil, copious fruit is layered from start to finish, with a lovely gentle balance of tannin and acidity barely ruffling the picture.
(2022) A left-bank blend coming mostly from vineyards in St-Estèphe, a blend of Merlot, both Cabernets and Petit Verdot, with élévage in large barrels (30% new). With five years under its belt, it holds a youthful, solid colour, with meat-stock and black fruit aromas, an intriguing touch of Nori character and good depth with a wisp of tobacco. In the mouth it is substantial and fleshy, a savoury, very St-Estèphe wine, with a certain robustness, but high quality oak and a juicy black cherry acidity layering the finish. Punches above its weight this one.
(2022) From Valtellina in Lombardy, just north and east of Piedmont, and home to some very fine Nebbiolo wines (known locally as 'Chiavennasca'), that's the major component here along with small quantities of the local Pignola, Rossola and Brugnola varieties. This is a charmer: soft and translucent in colour, there's a mature truffle and sweet earth and tobacco fragrance, then a palate where the gentle sweetness of the Nebbiolo pushes through. Cherry is the dominant impression, both the sweet pulp of the flesh and grip and tang of the skins, and though vinification is in steel, there's a little spice and hint of nutty toast plus some firmness in the finish of a delightful wine.
(2022) David Dudley-Jones describes this as "Barbaresco by any other name," coming from younger vines of the Crus Pora & Rio Sordo. Lovely pale to medium colour, but youthful, with a delicate nose of violets and old roses, something that reminds me strangely of candy floss, and then a nutty, chestnut note beneath. That complexity does continue on the palate, where really grippy young tannins and tart black cherry acidity frame succulent red plum and cherry, some leather and firm spices into a long finish, ending on fruit and acidity in lovely harmony.
(2022) Musso produces its Barbaresco from its 10 hectares of family vineyards. Pale to medium Ruby in colour, the nose has crushed red berries, like cranberries and redcurrants, with floral tones and a certain peppery quality. In the mouth a fine, mineral-etched, dry and savoury character, the hint of juicy red fruit sweetness swept up in orangey acidity, that pepper again, and firm tannins adding a bit of sinewy grip.
(2022) A Cru Barolo from this family estate, aged for over two years in large Slavonian oak casks. A firm, graphite and polished wood character here beneath taut, youthful black fruit, it is immediately concentrated and serious, but there's a floral, violet lift too in this young wine. The palate is equally polished and tight, the black fruit sinewy and dense, the very fine, authoritative tannins and acid balance suggesting cellaring will see this blossom over a decade or more.