Nuits St Georges, Aux Lavières, 2016

  Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair

A darker fruit profile than the Vosne village but still so gorgeously bright and silky. A Nuits that comes from the Vosne side of the appellation and it shows. Gregarious and stylish, velvety dark berry and cherry fruits with touches of blueberry and damson. Suave and generous, beautifully-proportioned. A tiny amount of wine is made from this small parcel of 75-year-old vines, never more than two barrels.

Contains Sulphites.

About Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair

The young Louis Michel Comte Liger-Belair is typical of the increasing crop of fledgling growers who are talented, intelligent and enthusiastic enough to take on the responsibility of bottling their own wines, nurturing them from vineyard to bottle. Until the 2000 vintage, the Liger Belair family’s superb set of well-situated Vosne-Romanée vineyards had been exclusively made and marketed by Maison Bouchard. However, Louis-Michel began to take back plots of land bit by bit and started producing outstanding wines. La Romanée, is the jewel in the Liger Belair crown. The smallest appellation in France and a family "monopole" situated just above Romanée Conti. Louis-Michel's aim is to make pure, intense terroir-driven wines by respecting his vineyards and their enviroment. Pesticides are not used and other chemical treatments are carried out only when necessary, rather than systematically. Vineyards are grown along bio-dynamic principles and are ploughed by horse to avoid compacting the soils too much. The wines undergo a very gentle maceration in favour of the common trend of over-extraction, which can often result in rather brutal, atypical wines. This, together with a careful selection of new barrels that don’t stamp their mark on the wine, enhances the purity and finesse of his Vosne-Romanées. These are intense, chic and gently-extracted wines that betray a haunting elegance. One of Burgundy's greatest stars. Louis Michel liger-Belair continues to expand the Domaine through purchases of the top vineyards of the Côtes de Nuits, the latest being the fabulous Clos des Grandes Vignes Premier Cru of Nuits St Georges, as well as the signing of a long term lease of Clos de Vougeot as of the 2015 vintage.

Appellation: Nuits St-Georges

A town in the northern part of the Côte d'Or that gave its name to the Côte de Nuits. Sitting on the southern edge of the Côte de Nuits, the town is the mini commercial hub of this part of the Côte d'Or, though much less significantly so than the Côte d'Or's capital, Beaune. Many négociants are based here and the town, like Beaune, also runs its own charity auction, the Hospices de Nuits, but on a much smaller scale.

The appellation Nuits-St-Georges lies both sides of the town, incorporating the vineyards of neighbouring Prémeaux-Prissey to the south. Typically Nuits-St-Georges are powerful, mineral, muscular and long-lived wines, however there is a distinct, widely accepted difference between the wines on the south side and those further north adjoinging Vosne-Romanée where the wines are silkier and more elegant, rather like those of its neighbour. There is more clay in the soil of the Prémeaux vineyards, making wines of less finesse and more prominent tannins.

Nuits boasts 27 Premier Cru vineyards but no Grands Crus, perhaps because at the time of the classifications in 1930 the town's leading vigneron, Henri Gouges, who was tasked to help classify the vineyards, was too concerned of being seen to favour vineyards in which he owned parcels. However, if the crown was to go to one Les St-Georges, on the south side of Nuits, would be it. Also particularly fine in the southern Nuits-St-Georges sector are Les Cailles and Les Vaucrains, both adjacent to Les St-Georges, while Aux Murgers and Aux Boudots on the Vosne-Romanée side and Les Argillières, Clos l'Arlot, and Clos de la Maréchale in Prémeaux can make great wine.

Small quantities of very rare white wine are made, too, from the Chardonnay grape, as in the Clos l'Arlot, and also from the Pinot Blanc grape in Gouges' Premier Cru Les Perrières. The town is home to a surprisingly small handful of well-reputed producers, namely Henri Gouges, Robert Chevillon, Domaine de l'Arlot, Patrice Rion, and Chauvenet, whilst there are many growers in neighbouring Vosne-Romanée who make outstanding examples of Nuits St Georges., and in Chambolle-Musigny, Freddy Mugnier is responsible for the great revival in fortunes of the spectacular Clos de la Maréchale vineyard.

Grape Type: Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir is the classic grape of red burgundy, whose greatest wines are concentrated in the east and south-east-facing clay/limestone hills of Burgundy's Côte d'Or. A notoriously temperamental variety, Pinot Noir has proved difficult to grow in certain climates and soils and will not tolerate over-cropping. The best examples have wonderfully expressive aromas and thrillingly pure bitter sweet red forest fruit and cherry flavours, developing truffle and game overtones with age. Outside of Burgundy, Pinot Noir has had great success in New Zealand, California’s Carneros, Oregon and the more marginal, cooler districts in Australia. Along with Chardonnay and Pinot Meunier, Pinot Noir is also one of the major components of Champagne.