Tasted in Nuits St.Georges with Thibault, 21 June 2016.
Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair
32 rue Thurot
21700 Nuits St.Georges
Tel: +33 3 80 61 51 16
Thibault explained a little about his barrels; he buys his own tree each year from a certain number of forests for his barrels. He’s done this for 10 years – he says it’s also important to separate the south and north parts of the wood from the same tree, south has finer grain from more sun and less humidity, which in-turn means that he doesn’t need to toast very much – “Just like meat, when it’s very good, it needs less cooking.”
“The 2014s are still in barrel – I was going to rack a couple of weeks ago, but I didn’t like the weather, so I will now do it next week.
“For the Moulin à Vent 2015s, we saw 37°C and a drying wind from the south for the last three days before harvest – incredibly it added 2 degrees of alcohol in that short time.”
2015 Moulin à Vent Vieilles Vignes
7 hectares worth of fruit from multiple parcels – all acid soil, no carbonic maceration, 80% destemmed. It needed more than 1.5 months of vinification due to the high sugar level. Remontage each day but no pigeage. 50-60 barrels worth – it’s the biggest cuvée. The domaine in 14 hectares today.
A little herb over an inky dark base of fruit. Supple, staining flavour – intense. Massive in the mid palate and sustains a great finish.
2015 Moulin à Vent Champs de Cour
From the south side of the Moulin à Vent hill, here with a very fine granitic sand soil. ‘Like the Chambolle of Moulin à Vent’ 1.8 ha
Also a deep almost saturated colour. Again supple, a hint more of a cushioned intensity. Again really fabulously long.
2015 Moulin à Vent La Roche
From the top of the hill, pink sand and granite with not much more than 20cm of soil.
A beautiful nose, almost a hint of Fleurie about this aroma. More direct and fresh on the palate, sweet fruit, holding a perfect fruit note in the finish. Super!
2015 Moulin à Vent Perelles
14k vines per hectare, quartz and granite soil, the first vines harvested but with 16.5 degrees – the other cuvées are all close to 15% – 40% whole bunch but needed 2 months of vinification.
A slightly volatile nose. Slight gas impression, super concentrated length. Individual for sure.
2015 Moulin à Vent Vignes Centenaire
From pre phylloxera vines from 3 parcels, one south, one north and one west, planted 1872-1880 – initially the seller didn’t show these parcels to Thibault because he thought them too old, and requiring replanting. When Thibault asked how old the vines were he got the response “When I was young, these were old, and I’m 80 now!” Thibault says that he makes a 19th century vinification; 2 months, half destemmed by hand the rest whole bunch. This will be bottled only in magnum – the first vintage was 2011.
Rather a more modestly overt nose – a hint more mineral and saline – but essentially seamless wine – fabulous potential!
Now a change of register:
2014 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits Clos Prieuré
Time to rack. Bought in 2004 with white soil and a 40% slope. This year the vines saw -4°C on April 27th, so here there was a little more damage than the average Côte de Nuits vineyard.
A little reduced but with a growing prettiness of fruit. A faint fizz, red fruit, a faint rasp of tannin too. A nice line of flavour into the finish. Good length too.
2014 Nuits St.Georges Les Charmottes
From the Vosne side of the town, next to 1er Cru Bouselottes. Here there’s 40-50cm of clay, rich in iron too, with the first layers of degraded limestone. Some whole bunches here; group one of the pickers pick the best clusters, group two the rest which are then triaged 3 times – then there’s a layering of destemed grapes and whole clusters in the fermentation tank.
A bright floral / whole cluster perfume. Fresh, delicate, beautiful focus, only in the mid-palate is there some oak. Very mineral finishing. Will be super!
2014 Gevrey-Chambertin Croix des Champs
50% whole cluster ‘to add a bit more freshness’
A vibrant nose, lots of perfume, faint fireworks (reduction) too. Also vibrant on the palate, not a wine of weight but certainly one of nice texture and pretty waves of flavour.
The meeting of the two combes – Nuits and Vosne.
A deep nose, very faintly accented with reduction. Juicy, tasty, a little oaked but with bright flavours – this is a beautifully flavoured wine. A little finishing oak but beautifully smooth. Super!
2014 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Gruenchers
From the north side of the village. Purchased the grapes since 2005, do all the work between May and harvest. No whole clusters this vintage as there was some suzuki in the vineyard. Zero production this year (2016) due to the frost!
A faintly smoky nose which grows with perfume. Lithe, bright flavour but with fine complexity and a nice structure.
From Aux Charmes at the top of the hill, planted north-south, in front of the border between Latricières and Chambertin. Do all the vineyard work here. No pigeage in this vintage ‘as I think it makes the wine artificially large. Lots of millerandes and the stems were thick, so I reduced just the main trunk of the stems for about 40% of the clusters. 70% new oak, very light toast – only 7-8 minutes.
A large-scaled nose, faint smoke. Wide, growing intensity, relatively direct, layers of flavour here. Really an intense mid-palate flavour
2/3 on limestone, but above is more clay and deeper soil. Lost 40% due to hail on June 27.
A deep, smoky whole cluster nose – lithe, bright-flavoured, but with growing intensity of flavour too – all the while very perfumed. Again very long on a stemmy, oaky impression – but not in any way negative.
From Baudes Bas in the south side of the Clos – the other side of the wall is the last part of Echézeaux. The first vintage with 20% whole bunch.
A more obvious fruit note here vs some of the more obviously floral-inflected whole cluster notes of other wines. Ooh – love! A hint of structure but wow flavour, bravo wine!
2014 Nuits St.Georges 1er Les St.Georges
Biggest parcel of the domaine – more than 2ha on a clay soil with lots of small limestone.
More open, and gunflint reduced. Supple, bright, quite complex, the Clos de Vougeot was more sumptuous, this is a little more fresh focused. Great finish again! I still love the flavour of the Clos de Vougeot more…
Planted in 1934 and 1936 – the oldest parcels of the domaine because they were actually pruned during the war, the rest of the domain not, so needed replanting afterwards. 0.5 ha, one of 10 owners.
Deep and tight dark red fruit. A hint of reduction, but a round and beautifully textured wine, a floral accent to the finishing flavour. Not the most focused finishing flavour, but clearly a long roundness that leaves a lasting impression.
We then tasted through a few 2015s…
2008 Nuits St.Georges 1er Les St.Georges
Massive, direct, openly perfumed, fresh fruity-perfume, still a little oak support. Fresh after the 15s, with a fine linear line of flavour – really complex and fine just still an accent of austerity from the structure – acidity and tannin – but mouth-watering and it found an appreciative audience with me!
One week skin maceration, fermented in barrel – 30% new. Bottled 5 months ago, from the walled ‘Clos de la Roche’ vineyard opposite the La Gentilhommière Hotel/Restaurant. The first vintage was 2013.
High toned, a bright fruit-let nose. Supple, concentrated, layered delivery of fresh flavour. This is a hint savoury but massively tasty. Bravo!