Sunday, November 14, 2010

Emmanuel Giboulot’s Côte de Beaune Les Pierres Blanches 2008

If you’re sceptical about natural wine this is the perfect bottle to try. It’s also the perfect bottle if you’re disenchanted with Chardonnay. It’s very clean, pure and mineral - like a premier cru Puligny Montrachet with a touch of apple (an old heritage variety with a delicate flavour and not too much sweetness) and citrus. As the evening wore on it opened out to give richer creamier notes that I imagine it will acquire with more age. The last bottle we tasted also had a markedly honeyed note.

So who’s Emmanuel Giboulot? Well, he’s an organic (since 1985) and biodynamic producer with a cellar in the outskirts of Beaune - one of the winemakers we met on our recent French trip. His view is that biodynamic viticulture "changes your whole attitude to wine and to the people working with you. Since we went biodynamic in '96 we've really noticed the difference in the structure and purity of our wines."

We drank it last night with our friend, food writer Andrea Leeman’s creamy courgette soup and a homemade chicken and pistachio terrine and it was brilliant with both but would of course be a perfect wine to drink with fish and shellfish and, I think, with Japanese food.

The only downside is that this particular cuvée seems not to be available in the UK though you can buy Giboulot’s other wines, notably La Combe d’Eve, from, Novum Wines and apparently from Graham Gardner of Folly Wines in Gloucestershire ((01453 731 509) though he doesn’t appear to have a website. His basic burgundy is stocked by Vinceremos. We found the whites, which are particularly fine, more appealing than the reds by the way. Amazing from such a humble appellation.

(Given the price and the scarcity it would be worth picking up direct from the domaine if you're in France: Emmanuel Giboulot, 4 rue de la Seurre, 21200 Beaune. Tel: 00 33 (0) 3 80 22 90 07)

Since writing this I've discovered a fascinating interview with Giboulot here on

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