2017 1er Cru Faconnières Domaine Lignier-Michelot


50% Whole Bunch this year. This has a soft attack, but quickly gains a more serious edge in the mouth. Building structure and concentrated fruit intensity. Broad yet with nicely cut, clean lines and a minerality that begins to tussle for superiority over the fruit. Lovely balance. Fruit is rich and loaded with good cherry notes, and yet the mineral core is superb also. Impressive stuff and just a little more muscle and grunt than the humdinger from Stephan Magnien. Drinking range: 2020 - 2027L&S (Nov 2018)

* This is a pre-shipment/primeur offer. All orders are accepted under the TERMS of this offer which differ from the terms of the rest of the site.

The 2017 Morey-Saint-Denis Faconnières 1er Cru is tight and backward on the surly nose, offering undergrowth, iris petal and seaweed scents. The medium-bodied palate delivers fine-grained tannins, a citrus-fresh start and impressive harmony and length. Great potential. Drinking range: 2023 - 2040 Rating: 93 Neal Martin, (Jan 2020)

(from 60+ year old vines; 80% whole cluster). Happily there is no reductive funk masking the pretty, pure and nicely elegant nose of plum liqueur, black cherry, spice, earth and floral wisps. The sleek, intense and beautifully well-detailed flavors flash evident minerality on the lingering, complex and balanced finale where a touch of wood appears. This is at once bold yet refined and sufficiently structured that it should repay extended keeping. Drinking range: 2029 - Rating: 90-92 Allen Meadows, (Jan 2019)

Some richness and velvety drama. This should deliver in spades what many people are seeking. But probably not for absolute purists for whom it may be a little OTT. Drinking range: 2022 - 2030 Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - (Jan 2019)

The 2017 Morey-Saint-Denis Faconnières 1er Cru, which Virgile Lignier aptly describes as a Petit Clos de la Roche, shows the same brooding intensity as the Aux Charmes, offering blackberry, wild hedgerow and crushed stone aromas and traces of moorland and heather. The slightly chalky palate is medium-bodied with grainy tannin, and there is fine acidity and real energy on the finish. I like the persistence and depth here. Superb. Drinking range: 2023 - 2037 Rating: 92-94 Neal Martin, (Jan 2019)

A domaine of 11 hectares, 25% regionals, 50% Villages, 20% Premiers crus and 5% Grands Crus. Virgile Lignier worked at the domaine with his father Maurice from 1988, beginning to bottle some of the wine from 1992 (it had previously been sold to the négoce), taking over in 2000, which was the vintage when he first bottled all the domaine's production.

In the vineyard Virgile made significant changes, stopping the use of herbicides, and beginning to plough instead. Green harvesting to limits yields followed, along with greater attention to grape selection. The domaine works organically except in extremis.

The wines have a lovely combination of enough body and richness, combined with a lively clarity of expression. The old vines village cuvées are seriously good, and great value too. Going up the scale each site seems to speak very clearly of its source and there is a brightness and energy along with full, seamless fruit.


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