Posts with the label "domaine du comte liger belair"


Vintage Report: Burgundy 2017 - Beguiling Burgundian Elegance

Vintage Report: Burgundy 2017 - Beguiling Burgundian Elegance

Thursday 3rd January 2019
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

The 2017 vintage is already being lauded as a great year for whites, but make no mistake this is a superb red vintage, too. When producers like Freddy Mugnier say “I think these were the best, most healthy, grapes I have ever picked” you sit up and take notice. For the Pinots display a beguiling mix of ripe, sensual fruit, delicacy, elegance and freshness. What’s more they offer vivid terroir characteristics - this is a red burgundy lover’s vintage par excellence.

The season started early and resulted in a precocious harvest (taking place between 3rd and 13th September for Pinot Noir). Based on readings taken throughout the calendar year, 2017 was the warmest on record. However the summer was remarkably well-balanced without any extremes in temperature. After a successful flowering, drought was the only potential danger, but rainfall at the end of August put paid to that. Conditions for harvest were perfect with sunny, warm days and cooler nights. There was one notable day of rain within the first two weeks of September otherwise growers could pick when they liked. All of this sounds rather easy, and largely it was, but there were two key factors for making really great, rather than merely “good” Pinots in 2017: Yields and élévage. In the words of Louis-Michel Liger-Belair, who has made a stunning range of 2017s “there was time to pick and to get ripe fruit, even with high yields, but if you did not control yields the wines will be a little diluted.” The second factor was to make sure the beautifully ripe, seductive fruit of the vintage was captured and not allowed to dry out, many of the growers we visited in November had already begun racking their wines in preparation for a slightly earlier bottling than usual. Early in the season green harvests were seen by many as crucial elements in controlling yields. By harvest time, grapes were uniformly ripe and very healthy, almost all producers we spoke to made it clear that tables de tries were largely redundant. Despite this fruit ripeness, sugars were in perfect balance, alcohols ranging between a balanced 13 to 13.5%. Such was the maturity of the stalks and grapes that those who practice whole bunch fermentations often included a greater percentage than usual in their fermenters, which seems to have been a successful approach, adding nerve and complexity to the wines. Whether whole-bunch or de-stalked though, the wines commonly display ripe, pliable fruit textures and, despite it not being a particularly high acid vintage, a distinct energy and freshness.

An anniversary tasting and dinner celebrating 200 years of Liger-Belair

An anniversary tasting and dinner celebrating 200 years of Liger-Belair

Friday 24th April 2015
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

Wine lovers and Burgundy aficionados convened with great excitement at the Serpentine Sackler gallery’s magnificent restaurant, Magazine, on Wednesday night.  

The occasion was a double anniversary celebration of both the Liger-Belair family’s 200 years at the Château de Vosne-Romanée and also fifteen years of Louis-Michel Liger-Belair making wine at the estate he established in 2000, what is now known as Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair.  A wonderful evening was kick-started with a potted history of this great Domaine (see below), given by our chairman, Hew Blair, over a delicious glass of Diebolt Vallois Cuvée Prestige Champagne.  As one of the very first people to walk into the Liger Belair cellars in 2001, Hew was well placed to guide us through the mixed fortunes in this fascinating tale.  Justerini & Brooks are thrilled and proud to have represented the Domaine in the UK and Singapore ever since its very first vintage, 2000.

Louis-Michel Liger-Belair then took up the reins for a tasting of eight different wines with eight different terroirs, spanning the 2005 to 2012 vintages.  He began by quoting the advice his mentor, Henri Jayer, gave him when he first decided to take on the challenge of producing the family’s first ever domaine-bottled wines:

The grape escape: 2008 Burgundy Revisited and a peek at 2009

The grape escape: 2008 Burgundy Revisited and a peek at 2009

Wednesday 19th May 2010
by Giles Burke-Gaffney

Narrowly avoiding the ash clouds that nearly prevented my annual escape from the London Wine Trade fair, I head to Burgundy for a chance to re-taste 2008 and take an early peek at the already well-reputed 2009s.

Most Red 2008s are now ready to be bottled and though, admittedly, its a perfect time to taste, they look fabulous, even lovelier than from barrel in November. It may not be a totally homogenous vintage but there are so many great examples of red 08s from the top producers. Every grower I have spoken to this week considers it a genuinely top vintage for Pinot Noir and I have to admit I am totally seduced, too. Such a balance of Pinot purity, freshness, ripe fruit and roundness, with a nice little tannic kick. Freddy Mugnier himself describes it as "a vintage I adore, like 2001 but better, more refined." Anyone who has been lucky enough to drink any of the quite glorious Cote de Nuits 2001s recently will know this is praise indeed.