Nuits St Georges Blanc, Clos des Grandes Vignes, 2015

  Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair

There is a quality and progression in this wine that transcends the vintage. The usual full spectrum of flavours but with crisper edges than ever before, a wonderful chalkiness and saltiness permeates through the ripe stone fruit. A level of composure and finesse makes this the best Clos des Grandes Vignes blanc Louis-Michel has made. A fabulous parcel of Nuits in the Premeaux-Prissey commune bought by Louis-Michel in 2012. The white, of which rarely more than four barrels are made, comes from the lower part of the Clos and this is the one wine in his cellar that only gets a quarter new oak rather than the usual 100%.

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: Chardonnay

Chardonnay is one of the most widely-grown and versatile of all white grape varieties. As a relatively neutral grape, it offers a near transparent map of winemaking style, climate and terroir. It is the ideal grape variety for Burgundy, where it serves to mirror the complex nuances of the myriad of terroirs found in this hallowed land. Chardonnay produces a variety of wines from the minerally and unoaked styles found in Chablis, the fatter nuttier examples in Meursault, to the tropical fruit-driven versions found in the New World. It is also the major grape variety in Champagne, where it produces lively floral wines, namely in the Côte de Blancs. It can be found throughout Europe and the New World thanks to its versatility. As a non-aromatic variety, it has an affinity with oak, whether new or used, French or American.