Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair
Bourgogne “Les Grandes Chaillots” ♥
Regional Red barrel
Tasted: Jan 15, 2018
Producer note: Thibault Liger-Belair, who is the cousin of Louis-Michel Liger-Belair (see above), told me the 2016 vintage was “a complete disaster in Beaujolais where I lost 70% of my production in Moulin-à-Vent due to hail and lost 90% in 2017! It wasn’t any better for my Côte d’Or vineyards as I also lost 70% of the potential production here as well. I would estimate the proportions as 50% of the loss was due to the frost and another 20% due to mildew. On the plus side, Vosne and my vines in Corton were relatively spared compared to Nuits and Chambolle which were largely slammed. For example, there will be no Gruenchers. I chose to begin picking on the 24th of September and at least the fruit was clean and ripe so there was almost no sorting necessary. The skins were thick and the phenolic maturities were high so I used more whole clusters than usual though I took the painstaking and very time-consuming step for the 1ers and grands crus of eliminating the central stalk. As to the wines, I like them for the purity and freshness and I think they’re going to age better than people seem to think. They’re not as concentrated as the 2015 but they have excellent balance.” I found the quality of the 2016s here to be very good to excellent but particularly so in the range of Bourgogne and Beaujolais wines. In addition, I would advise carefully considering some of the now in-bottle 2015s as they too are impressive, with five reviewed below. They were bottled in August and September 2017 which means that they spent almost two years in barrel. Readers should be aware that the Liger-Belair cellars are very deep and particularly cold and thus the wines are often noticeably reduced. (Vineyard Brands, www.vineyardbrands.com, AL, USA; Lay & Wheeler, www.laywheeler.com, O.W. Loeb, www.owloeb.com and Berry Brothers & Rudd, www.bbr.com, all UK).
Tasting note: An exuberantly fresh array of plum, earth and pretty dark currant aromas leads to rich and surprisingly bold flavors that possess very good mid-palate density, all wrapped in a lightly stony and saline finish that is presently youthfully austere. Good stuff here and ageworthy too.