A Domaine based in Morey St Denis that is held in high esteem by both fellow vignerons and Burgundy-lovers alike, Hubert Lignier is a five generation family estate that was first established in 1880. The business continually passed on from father to son, eventually coming to Hubert Lignier. In 1992 Romain Lignier joined his father, Hubert, but tragically died in 2004. In 2006 his brother Laurent took over the business to help his father and now runs the estate today. Laurent summarises the domaine’s aim to be “aspiring to make authentic and sensual wines that express their own terroir.” Understated and gentle the wines reflect the character of their maker. Blessed with old vines in Morey St Denis and some fabulous Gevrey and Chambolle parcels, Laurent makes wines of thrilling purity and elegance. The grapes are all destalked, apart from 10% for the Grands Crus in certain vintages, and the wines are aged in oak barrels, always light in toast, fine-grained and never more than 20% new. The vineyard is treated with respect, ploughed and without the use of herbicides or insecticides. Vinifications and ageing are gentle, slow and non-interventionist, as Laurent says “watching and patience are key in the cellar.”
Bourgogne or Burgundy is a wide-ranging generic appellation in eastern France that has been planted with the vine at least since Roman times, the earliest archaeological evidence coming from 2nd Century A.D. The region, now spanning up to 28,000 hectares, owes a lot to the work of Cistercian Monks in the 11th and 12th Centuries, particularly in the Côte d'Or, who were responsible for identifying some of the finest vineyard plots still in existence today. The appellation is large, stretching between the cities of Auxerre in the North and Lyon in the south and includes Chablis, the Côte d'Or (from where hail some of the world's finest examples of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir), the Chalonnais, Maconnais and Beaujolais. Chardonnay is the main white grape planted, though there is still a fair amount of Aligote to be found if an ever decreasing amount, as well as tiny proportions of Pinot Blanc and Pinot Beurrot. For quality reds Pinot Noir is the dominant grape and the only permitted variety for the "Bourgogne Rouge" appellation controlee, there are plantings of Gamay too, though, which can be blended with a minimum one third Pinot Noir to make "Bourgogne Passetoutgrain." There is also the rarely seen Bourgogne Grand Ordinaire, which may include the Pinot Noir, Gamay, César, and Tressot varieties. This appellation also exists for whites, allowing a blend of Chardonnay, Aligoté and Melon de Bourgogne. Being such a big area style can vary enormously: From the steely, minerally white Bourgognes near Chablis to the rounder, more buttery offerings in the Maconnais. Very fine and extremely good value examples of red and white Bourgognes are made by many of the high quality estates in the Côte d'Or, the designated "Bourgogne" vineyards here being on the flatter less well-drained terrain the other side of the RN74 road to the villages and 1er Cru appellations. Some Bourgogne Rosé can also made be made but this is a tiny fraction of the red and white wine production.