Tasted in Nuits St.Georges with Thibault Liger-Belair, 11 December 2019.
Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair
32 rue Thurot
21700 Nuits St.Georges
Tel: +33 3 80 61 51 16
This was my first visit to Thibault’s new facility in Nuits St.Georges. Some of his wines are still elevaged in the cellars at the old address, however. Thibault explains that the new place has the lowest carbon footprint possible, even with solar-power to help run the climate-control, etcetera. There’s still a lot of concrete here, though Thibault says that for the construction much of the materials were recycled.
Thibault has a brilliant range of Moulin à Vent in 2018 – his vines from the Côtes are also fabulous – a number of grand vins to be found this year. Bravo!
2018 Moulin à Vent Vieilles Vignes
7 parcels, now all combined – in foudre now. Half the domaine – 6ha. 65-105-year-old vines. A small harvest as 2018 followed 2 years of hail – then it was frosted in 2019! 22 hl/ha
A fine width of inky fruit – there is depth here. Fresh, driving, lovely – more Morgon style of shape – but then wider finishing. Lovely freshness. This is super.
From the top of the hill, near the windmill, so no surprise there’s lots of wind. Pink sand and granite with not much more than 20cm of soil.
A more meaty depth of fresh fruit, the last drops fine and floral. Ooh – beautiful shape, driving, gorgeous – this could be Corton. Direct, clarity – great wine – super finishing, really long.
14k vines per hectare – but for 80 years – probably to protect the grapes from the sun! Quartz and granite soil, that’s plain-south-facing so usually, the first vines harvested.
Wide, though with tighter aromatic depth. Open, fresh, depth of crystalline dark fruit. Floral tinged. Ooh – even greater! Bravo! A beautiful width of finish.
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
A wine that very slowly opens in the glass – more and more pretty with air. Clarity – really wide and fresh. – simply beautiful – what a great range in 2018!
With some modest understatement, Thibault says “The (Beaujolais) wines are really starting to show what I wanted.”
Now a change of register:
3 ha, 1 in Nuits 2 in Chambolle – Thibault bought a domaine in Chambolle in 2016 – with a little over three hectares of vines.
This has a lovely elegance. Open, clarity, layered – a touch of wc perfume. This is absolutely delicious. Bravo Bourgogne!
2018 Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits Clos Prieuré
Bought in 2004 with white soil and a 40% slope. In Arcenant, 400 m altitude ‘but very ripe in 18.’
A tighter nose – not a deeply coloured wine. Hmm, again really open with great clarity – slightly darker, riper fruit, but lively and deeply flavoured. The nose slowly starting to offer more perfumed fruit… and very long. Delicious wine.
2018 Côte de Nuits Villages Les Lureys
Next to the Clos Marechale in Premeaux
Fresh, perfumed, slightly more structural – the tannin showing only a little. But open, and rather perfumed again.
2018 Chambolle-Musigny vieilles-Vignes
5 different parcels with plenty of wc. Nothing harvested higher than 13.7°
Ooh, lots of wc perfume – but proper perfume. Transparently mineral and fresh, mouth-watering, almost juicy flavour. Ooh – that’s so good…
2018 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.
A deep nose with a touch of reduction. Open, beautiful architecture – there’s an airy transparency to all these wines so far! Deliciously flavoured in the finished – such an accomplished villages Nuits.
2018 Nuits St.Georges Bellecriox
To the south, just under Pruliers. Almost 70-year-old vines.
Plenty of aromatic freshness, almost an occasional flash on menthol. More impact, more intensity, deeper in the middle too – at the end a little dryness of the (approaching) Premeaux tannins. This is super and completely different to the first.
2018 Gevrey-Chambertin Croix des Champs
Bottom of Gevrey on deeper soils – more wc here – 60%
Open, fresh and floral. A little more depth and softness to the concentration – layered, but open and never heavy. Still mouth-watering in the finish. Yum!
The meeting of the two combes – Nuits and Vosne. ‘No wc in this very limestone place.’
Deep and mineral, almost saline freshness to this dark-fruited nose. Supple, layered, more structured but less rich than the Gevrey – a nicer framework to this wine – so mouth-watering – bravo! A super finish!
From Aux Charmes opposite the border between Latricières and Chambertin. All new oak
This is deep, vibrant but much riper – almost roast. Nice width and shape – the flavour really plays beautifully over the palate – but the ripeness of aroma is present in the flavour too, I like this less. The finish is fine though.
2/3 on limestone, but above is more clay and soil, which is actually deeper higher above. Older Oxfordian limestone here vs the Bajocian of the CdNuits.
That’s also a much deeper nose of concentrated ripe fruit – not unlike the Charmes, but a little better. In the mouth much better, wide and sleek, fresh, mouth-watering – ooh that’s rather good. A big ‘pop’ of finishing flavour too.
2018 Clos de Vougeot
From Baudes Bas and Hautes in the south side of the Clos – the other side of the wall is the last part of Echézeaux. Two vine ages 44 and 92 – the younger destemmed, the older not.
A touch of reduction which as it fades seems to enhance the higher tones of the nose. Ooh – a proper CV of scale, energy and clarity – and a certain tannin – virtually grainless if still some astringency. Excellent CV!
2018 Nuits St.Georges 1er Les St.Georges
Biggest parcel of the domaine – more than 2ha on clay soil with lots of small limestone.
Much more width and a certain floral complexity to this wine, there is a depth of ripe but not over-ripe fruit too. Rounder than the Clos, similar tannic style – though here is the smallest of grain. Vibrant finishing, mouth-filling seemingly in the finish too. Excellent…
1931 vines – some of the oldest in Vosne. One of 10 owners.
This has a fine elegance to start – I expected more power but I’m anyway engrossed. Volume, mouth-filling but not of impact, it creeps up on you. The flavour growing wider and wider until a small ‘pop’ (again) as there is a little explosion of finishing flavour. The persistence is the key here – so impressively so. There is a faint tannic texture but not the modest dryness that the previous two wines offered. A stealth Richebourg today – and in 18 that’s probably an advantage!