Tasted in Morey St.Denis with Laurent Lignier, 10 December 2019.
Laurent on 2020:
“We’ve never harvested so early; it was the 27th of August – that’s 3 days earlier than in 2003 – my 84-year-old father has never seen it so early. January and February it was very wet, March was calmer, we even did some replanting in 20°C. Cooler again in April and then from May very little in the way of rain – an occasional storm helped but generally we lacked rain. The grapes were rather small – the flowering came at the end of May – some pressure of oïdim but really no mildew – by the way we were certified organic in 2019. New was 1.44 hectares oof vines en-fermage in the Côte de Beaune to add the Pommard Chanlins (2009) and Pommard Brescules (2014). The vines came from a domaine that stopped its work and I shared between 3 other vignerons – they were conventionally managed but I’ve already changed the culture. The Chanlins had vines from 1927, but after a decade of hail and frost there was not much in the way of grapes – it’s not easy for a vigneron to tend vines that have no grapes. But back to 2020 – it was a year to take pleasure from being more-often in the vines – as covid meant a large reduction in the number of visits. No copper at all was required in the last 4 treatments. A very small rendement though – apart from the regionals which were okay – minus 25-30% vs a normal vintage, and nearly half a vintage vs the larger production of 2018. The Côte de Beaune suffered less. We made less wine than in 2019.”
Laurent on 2019:
“We had a nice March but then April was cold and we had a lot of worry that we could have frost – in the end the temperatures hovered ~0°C but not lower. This slowed the progress of the vegetation, progressively speeding up the growth through May. The flowering was about 10-15 June so 2-3 weeks later than in 2020. We have a year that’s positive for the quality, less than the average for the volumes but with density and fine texture. I think a great vintage. I changed my method a little by incorporating about one-third whole clusters and no more pigeage – replacing with at least one remontage per day. I didn’t go searching for the tannin as it released naturally enough. I find an interesting vertical style and tension to the wines. I think really precise from the perspective of terroir. I’ve got about 20-30% new wood in the wines, a bit lower than was historically used by my father and I’ve extended the elevage to more like 20-21 months – so it will be about July before we bottle. For the last 3 years, 2 ha have been a testbed for Biodynamics here.”
A fine year chez Laurent Lignier – some of the wines absolutely great for their respective labels and worth searching for – topped-off by, as you would expect – two simply excellent Clos de la Roche…
2019 Bourgogne Pinot Noir Grand Chaillots
From southern Nuits. Prefer to use the lieu-dit rather than a Côte d’Or label. This direct from barrel, to be bottled in January. Vines planted at the start of the 80s.
A deep nose. There’s freshness and a little minerality there. Depth, freshness – I like the concentrated fresh flavour and a little velvet to the texture. Lots of wine here – It will be excellent. The finish is already great.
2019 Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles-Vignes
A cuvée since 2007. From Drazey and Gammaire from bought grapes – some whole clusters for all these – the vines averaging over 50 years-old.
A fine Chambolle nose of floral perfume over a deeper well of dark red fruit. In the mouth, there’s a concentrated core with a width of slowly melting flavour. Intense, well-proportioned wine. Again a great finish, here mildly saline and open…
2019 Chambolle-Musigny Bussières
Domaine and so organic. The limit of the appellation, touching the vines of Roumier in Clos des Bussières in Morey. 30-70-year-old vines here – half a hectare.
Darker fruit, a little extra silky and clarity to the aromas – not overtly perfumed though. A little more structure, more depth of flavour too – more serious for keeping longer than the vv. But great flavour dimension – this will be really excellent.
2019 Morey St.Denis Très Girard
Bought grapes from two different vignerons since 2009. La Chablisienne have some vines here – I will ask them about it!
Less open, rounder redder fruit. Fuller, redder fruited in the mouth, much tastier than the nose at first suggests – almost too easy to drink. Very delicious…
2019 Morey St.Denis Trilogy
The blend of Chenevery 60%, Clos Solon 15%, Les Poroux 15% – about 1 ha in total – north centre and south, just under the 1ers – 50-84-year-old vines.
The nose round and red like the last – needs to show a bit more here. The palate is far more precise and direct, almost structural – nicely shaped and with unfurling layers of finishing flavour – serious and impressive here – a great finish.
2019 Gevrey-Chambertin La Justice
Since 2009 a contract. A bit less whole clusters for this cuvée, the vines suffer the drought here and the sandier soil is very draining – to achieve the last part of maturity can be difficult and the leaves can fall to the ground here.
Much wider and fresher aromatic. Mouth-filling – extra volume extra floral character to this flavour. That’s a very fine finishing flavour – precise and penetrating – persistent too – 3 P’s super wine.
Domaine wine of almost 1 ha between Gevrey and Morey below Mazoyères – part planted by father and grandfather – so between 60 and 80 years old – this is the biodynamic parcel of the domaine.
Again like the Morey – the nose is a little cushioned and unready. The palate, however, is vibrant, clean – very open, slightly structured. Another wine of serious intent, finishing superbly. Really great villages if the nose comes good!
Under Les Cailles – bought with three friends in 2010. Original plantation was 1937 but only about one-third of those vines remain. ‘I have a lot of millerandes in this place’
A more ready and precise nose – darker red fruit of fine clarity. Lots of volume and associated fine energy, this has a great texture – many 1ers would be jealous. Super wine – indeed great villages Nuits – bravo!
2019 Pommard En Brescul
On the limit of Beaune, about 20-year-old vines. Three terraces of hillside vines above Epenots that look to the Clos des Mouches. In the domaine since 2014. 0.40 ha – full of holes from badgers – they also eat the grapes when the weather is dry!
That’s a nearly ready nose – dark-red fruit and becoming more precise with air. More like a Nuits! Round but structural, lots of tannin here but there’s not really any grain. That’s a super wine but be patient!
2019 Chambolle-Musigny 1er Les Chabiots
Bought in grapes, since 2010 – next to Les Amoureuses
Slightly less colour. That’s a pretty nose – wide, pure red fruit – very open. I have the impression of fine structure and a flavour with some wc in – that’s a very lovely wine – really excellent stuff. Long too…
Planted north-south which brings a bit of afternoon shade – helpful in the current climate! Domaine vines next to Bonnes-Mares biodynamics used here.
The fruit is darker here, more precise, less volume, more intense. More structural wine, very open, cool fruited. A wine where you can be as patient as you like or simply drink and enjoy – I love the texture and depth of flavour. Bravo!
2019 Morey St.Denis 1er La Riotte
In the centre of Morey. Never seems to suffer from the drought here as there are some sources. Slightly higher alcohols as it matures quickly.
A fine nose, deep but narrow. Fresh attack to this flavour – like the Baudes but with redder fruit and a little more tannin almost a mocha accent to the fruit here. Finishing with a little extra tannin. Delicious wine…
2019 Morey St.Denis 1er Les Chaffots
Just above Clos St.Denis. Biodynamics here too – half a hectare about 300-330 metres up.
Another nose that’s not quite ready, but opens and focuses nicely with air. Direct, silky – a wine that starts in linear style. Rather juicy finishing through a modest tannin – a really great finish – excellent wine!
2019 Morey St.Denis Vieilles-Vignes
Made by father since 1985 – a single parcel that straddles 2 parcels – Millandes but a little Chenevery too – planted between 1936 and 1952 – only about 20 hl/ha due to millerandes, but make massale selections here.
Also not quite ready but a darker fruit here again. Great shape and presence in the mouth – a width of flavour supported by its tannin. A properly structured wine with a slowly mouth-watering finish. Certainly excellent, but have patience!
2019 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Les Combottes
Planted in 1957, under Monts Luisants, just enough for a bit more than 2 barrels, normally. There’s a fault here and it’s less stony more aerated soil than Clos de la Roche above
A fresher, redder nose also needing more elevage. That’s super in the mouth – filling all the spaces and with plenty of energy too – a little tannic texture. Another wine to wait for but with a bit more elegance on offer vs the MSD VV, you can attack this earlier.
A contract since 2014, ‘We arrive with our cases and they are filled there.
Aromatically a little more correct, still needing elevage but an attractive redness of fruit. Nicely fresh, a good tannin too. This is serious for Griotte – I like the structure and the shape of this wine. Bravo!
Next to road, O.10 ha in Mazoyeres below Combottes. A car crashed in there recently, destroyed 27 60-year-old vines. Just now replanted. Domaine always a small cuvée here – not much more than 1 barrel.
That’s much more ‘in-place’ nose of precision and a little floral complexity. Mouth-filling, plenty of structure again here, slightly more elegant than for the Griotte today. Excellent wine.
2019 Clos de la Roche
2 parcels, 0.65 ha in Monts Louisants, and 0.25 ha in Fremiers on the limit of Clos St.Denis – when they bought their Clos de la Roche it was full of goats and sheep but no vines. 0.75 ha is represented here, a 1964-65 plantation by Laurent’s father, the cuvée that follows was planted by his grandfather.
A little impression of smoky spice but not a forward nose today. Supple – wide. Mouth-filling – that’s a super texture too. This sits wonderfully well on the palate.
“We have 1 hectare in Clos de la Roche, the older parts are in Monts Luisants and it was my grandfather Henri Lignier who planted the parcels in 1955 after buying in 1945. Henri was pushed to buy the following parcel by his wife who had noted that it never frosted – it also never frosted in 2016! This 1955 cuvée has been made from 2017 but only 17 hl/ha in that vintage due to some hail.”
2019 Clos de la Roche Hommage 1955
A massale selection planted by grandfather, 26 rows – 0.25 ha – all in Monts Luisants – all the domaine’s massale selections come from here. 3.5 barrels in this vintage – as no hail`.
Also a compact nose but seemingly precise and properly in place. A little extra volume in the mouth – still the same freshness and width of style but here with an extra floral perfume in the flavours too. A little grain of tannin mixes with the fine finishing flavour – long finishing. Just so good!