2019 1er Cru Les Saint Georges Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair


A vineyard on brown clay with limestone below - a form of calcite - crystalline limestone - there's a fault in the middle of the vineyard and since 2012 more of this calcite has been coming into the soil - and he believes the wines have changed as a result. It is certainly true that as a result of all the work Thibault has done, this wine had greatly increased in energy and verticality over the years. Classic Nuits, with density and richness, there is an elegance here too - just give it a bit of time. Drinking range: 2030 - 2042L&S (Oct 2020)

In Bond

75cl bottles (wood case of 6)

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(from a huge 2.10 ha parcel; 40% whole clusters). There is enough reduction to suppress the underlying fruit though there is by contrast very good freshness and tension to the sleek, detailed and tautly muscular flavors that also conclude in a decidedly austere, compact and mildly warm finish. This powerful and vaguely rustic effort will also require ample patience to arrive at its full maturity. Drinking range: 2036 - Rating: 91-93 Allen Meadows, (Jan 2021)

40% whole bunch. Very backward still. Mid purple, good weight of fruit on the nose but no detail quite yet. Thibault has been looking to make this purer and more precise, if less opulent, over the last few years. In 2019 there is a wealth of sucrous deep red fruit on the palate, almost too much, will this calm down? Lush liqueur raspberries. Needs more elevage to find its balance, I think it will. Tasted: November 2020 **** Rating: 92 - 95 Jasper Morris - Inside Burgundy  (Jan 2021)

Cask sample. Nice idea to put this grand cru manqué between two grands crus! Blueish dark crimson. Confident bitter-cherry fruit and this is certainly not disgraced by its grand cru neighbours. Very serious wine with depth and refreshment. Edgy and chiselled. Really interesting wine. Drinking range: 2025 - 2040 Rating: 17 Jancis Robinson OBE MW - (Jan 2021)

Including just shy of 40% whole cluster, the 2019 Nuits Saint-Georges Les Saint-Georges 1er Cru has an outstanding bouquet of beautifully defined brambly red fruit, commingling with crushed stone and wilted rose petal scents. The tensile palate is medium-bodied with chalky tannins, a fine bead of acidity and a crisp, structured, classically styled finish. Bon vin. Drinking range: 2024 - 2050 Rating: 93-95 Neal Martin, (Dec 2020)

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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