2017 1er Cru Les Saint Georges Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair


Thibault has 2 hectares here - and he is much more upbeat this year as it gave him 27 barrels in 2017 after the tiny haul of just 8 in 2016! Much of the wines charm can be linked to the interesting soil here which has some clay but a very high density of small white pebbles which changes everything. He had to do 2 distinct harvests here. First to pick off the best bunches for whole bunch fermenting and the second is all destemmed fruit. This is broadly structured with good shoulders. More upright and more intense than the Vosne and there is a dry line which underscores this classy core of more weighty, sleek fruit. Some blueberry and plumskin measure the ripe feel - joined by warm raspberries and a more leafy edge. Good juicy acidity too balances the weight nicely. THis is a very smart, accessible Nuits from Thibault. Recommended.. Drinking range: 2023 - 2032L&S(Nov 2018)

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Fresh, dark-red fruit. Stems showing only in an impression of freshness. Quite a bit of oak sweetness on the palate thought the fruit is there at the core. A relatively rich wine and the tannins need time. Drinking range: 2022 - 2030 Rating: 16.5+ Julia Harding MW, 2019)

(from a huge 2.10 ha parcel; 35% whole cluster but without the central stem). Here there is no reductive funk to the restrained and cool aromas of red berries, earth, soft floral and a suggestion of the sauvage. There is excellent punch to the delicious and intensely mineral-inflected middle weight plus flavors that culminate in a tautly muscular yet reasonably refined finish that is austere, serious and built to age. Drinking range: 2029 - Rating: 91-93 Allen Meadows, 2019)

The 2017 Nuits Saint-Georges Les Saint-Georges 1er Cru includes 40% whole cluster fruit, the most that Thibaut has used thus far. Matured in 60% new oak, it has a refined bouquet of pure black cherries, black currant, briar and crushed granite aromas, almost chalky in style. The palate is medium-bodied with immediate mineralité that alerts the senses. This is not a subtle Les Saint-Georges; it races out of the blocks with vivacious, almost flint-infused dark berry fruit and touches of bergamot and chai tea toward the sustained finish. Excellent. Drinking range: 2020 - 2040 Rating: 92-94 Neal Martin, 2019)

This is rich, sweet and just a little farmyardy but with oodles of perfume, texture and plush, smooth, palate-coating fruit. It's a Les St-Georges to drink and enjoy comparatively young. There's some tannin and acidity here, but it's the sweet berry fruit that predominates. Drinking range: 2022 - 2027 Rating: 94 Tim Atkin MW - Decanter(Nov 2018)

Thibault Liger-Belair has two hectares in Les Saint Georges, the vineyard which gives Nuits the rest of its name, and 60 ares out of a total of 4 hectares of the Grand Cru Richebourg, as well as a good holding in the Clos Vougeot and some well-placed village wines. The vineyards are a good start, but it is Thibault himself who has catapulted this domaine straight into the very top echelons of Côte de Nuits domaines from his first vintage (2002). Thibault was trained as an oenologist but first worked as a wine buyer. He has come to wine making with a wide experience of wine buying, and has had the advantage of having discussed wine-making for many years, with the benefit of his oenological background, with some of the best winemakers of the world. Viticulture is biodynamic (since 2005), yields low but not ludicrously low, everything is pragmatic, so that he should be doing just what is necessary and no more. He uses 40-50% new wood maximum. The wines are bright, pure, focused, aromatic and elegant without lacking anything in the way of stuffing.


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