|Sub-district||Côte de Nuits|
After a gap when he had no Charmes to propose, Virgile has secured a new long-term contract on a new site. He's very happy, it's a better site. 3 barrels, 100% whole bunch. It's very clearly Mazoyères not Charmes, with a decisive regal purple expression and authoritative grip. No smooth seducer, this one, but dense with spicy dark fruit and rich with ripe tannins which are all felted with the dark flavours. Love it. Gorgeous length. He has still not quite decided what to call it, but 'Charmes Chambertin aux Mazoyères' was favourite when we tasted. Drinking range: 2030 - 2045 L&S (Oct 2020)
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(from purchased fruit and released under the Maison Virgile Lignier label; 100% whole cluster; 4 barrels made). A brooding and much more restrained nose grudgingly reveals its notes of various dark berries, cassis, anise, underbrush and a whiff of floral nuances. There is fine richness along with very good cut to the bigger and more powerful flavors that culminate in a moderately rustic and youthfully austere finish that exhibits excellent length. This won’t win awards to refinement, but it does offer impressive complexity and depth of material. Drinking range: 2036 - Rating: 92-94 Allen Meadows, www.Burghound.com (Jan 2021)
4 barrels. 100% whole bunch. Fine central core of purple, with a really elegant nose as well as being explosive. This has all the charm which the name of the vineyard suggests backed by a great deal of energy. An excellent encapsulation of the appellation, gorgeous suave with a velvet texture. Tasted: November 2020 4/5 stars Rating: 95-97 Jasper Morris - Inside Burgundy (Jan 2021)
The maiden 2019 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru comes from purchased fruit where Virgile Lignier cultivates the vines through the year. Blended with 80% whole bunches, it has a very floral bouquet with violets and iris flower filtering through the black fruit. The palate is medium-bodied with sappy black fruit, very structured and showing its "Mazoyères" origins. Fine grip on the finish, this is an impressive debut. Drinking range: 2024 - 2048 Rating: 93-95 Neal Martin, www.vinous.com (Dec 2020)
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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