Our wonderfully reliable taxi driver, Alain, collected us from Volnay and took us to Beaune where we had an interlude in the cafe over the road from the station, drinking coffee and enjoying the sounds of Nostalgie FM, before walking the short distance to Domaine Giboulot.
This was my second visit here; the last one was back in 2008 so it had been a while. On that occasion, I remember being impressed with the purity of the wines, which are biodynamic. One can argue about whether biodynamism makes for better wines and I don't understand any of the procedures but the proof is surely evident in the tasting.
ACC tells me that biodynamic wines benefit from being decanted a couple of hours before one drinks them, and I have found this to be good advice. But it does mean these wines have to be planned ahead rather than opened when one gets home after a dreadful Tuesday in the office. (Blog update! ACC says this year they do not need decanting so much.)
Emmanuel's cellar is very small and the wines all receive loving care and attention. We tasted the following:
1. Terres Burgondes 2009, a vin de pays made from 100% pinot beurot aka pinot gris. This had a lovely nose, delicate and floral, and had a nice mouthfeel and managed to be both rich and refreshing at the same time, if that's not a contradiction in terms.
2. Cote de Beaune blanc, la Grande Chatelaine 2009. This was made from chardonnay as you'd expect. After the zingy St Romain, I found it slightly bland.
3. Cote de Beaune blanc, les Pierres Blanches 2008. I loved this. It was very well-balanced with citrus fruit and had good weight.
4. La Combe d'Eve blanc 2008. The one with the trendy label! Emmanuel told us that la Combe d'Eve is the name of a particular parcel of grapes. I liked it and it had a wonderful finish.
5. Terres Burgondes rouge 2009. Made from pinot noir, this had lovely, sweet berry fruit on the nose. It was quite light on the palate.
6. Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Nuits, Sous le Mont 2009. This was a beautiful colour and I could have inhaled it, it smelled so nice. Very elegant and delicate with lovely fruit, darker berries than the previous wine, and a great finish.
7. Beaune Lulune (rouge), I'm not sure what year this was but assume probably 2009 as I didn't note it. Lulune is a lieu-dit next to the premier crus over on the Pommard side of Beaune. I loved this. Again, light, elegant and well-balanced, everything you want from a Beaune.
Emmanuel was very charming and enthusiastic throughout, and I'm very much looking forward to getting some of these 2009s in my cellar and giving them the appreciation they deserve. Overall, these are beautiful wines, and the purity that I remembered from the previous visit is still the defining characteristic of this domaine.