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Domaine Huber-Verdereau, Meursault, France

A few years ago I asked a local with a deep knowledge of the Côte de Beaune, which young winemaker’s wines were worth exploring. I was tipped to try the wines made by Thiébault Huber. Not that we are discriminating against maturity, but we find that when you look for value, seeking youth is usually a better bet in Burgundy. I bought a few bottles and forgot about it until a few months ago, when we opened a Monthélie 2014 in the office. We were amazed by the texture and purity of the wine along with a savoury touch, especially when compared to many 2014s at the moment.It was time to get on my bike to try and meet him.

Domaine Huber-Verdereau, Meursault

When Thiébault’s maternal grandfather Raoul Verdereau retired in 1974, his family decided to keep his 3 hectares of vines but not farm them. Thiébault, born and raised in Alsace, became a sommelier, and in 1990 he decided the family vineyard could be better tended, and saw the opportunity to create his domaine and fulfil his love of wine. He moved to Burgundy and worked with his cousin, the highly rated Jean-Marc Bouley, to learn the trade. Thiébault’s first vintage at Domaine Huber-Verdereau was in 1994. He was always driven to work in the vines as naturally as possible and began working organically to achieve certification in 2001. Wanting to go further he began working with the late Pierre Mason, one of the most respected figures in biodynamic agriculture, and by 2005 his whole estate was certified biodynamic.

After a few years juggling between his small house in Volnay and another two rented ones, Thiébault decided to buy a plot in 2010 to build a winery in Meursault; his first vintage here was in 2016. It was the last and the worst of a series of catastrophic vintages in terms of yields due to hail and frost. His estate, now covering 9 hectares, produced 60hl. in 2016 and, thankfully, a much healthier 360hl. in 2017. In terms of work in the cellar, Thiébault has a gentle touch, using 350 and 500 litre barrels, minimum sulphur and no lees stirring. He vinifies and bottles separately wines coming from each parcel, to try and express each terroir. His whites are precise and his reds are wonderful expressions of Pinot Noir, showing lovely red fruit and silky texture. All the wines below are certified organic and biodynamic.

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