2017 Thibault Liger Belair Offer
Thibault Liger-Belair, ever on the prowl for new techniques to improve his wines, and to make them more naturally without making “natural” wines, has been producing his own sulfites since 2014, beginning with sulfur from a mine in Poland and then using a combustion chamber to combine the sulfur with oxygen in order to make SO2. This enables him to make a much more natural sulfite that the wine can integrate more easily than standard SO2, which typically involves the use of a petrol product. His new sulfite doesn’t shut down the wines as much as standard sulfites do, and he believes that it also contributes energy. STEPHEN TANZER
Thibault Liger-Belair is cousin to Vicomte Liger Belair of Vosne Romanée. In 2001 he took over an old family property in Nuits St Georges, taking back the vines which had been contracted out to various share croppers, and leased a cuverie just down the road. The family jewels (his branch) consist of Richebourg, Clos de Vougeot and Nuits St Georges Les St Georges, to which he has added further vineyards and a few additional cuvées made from purchased grapes.
The vines are now certified organic and farmed biodynamically, with horses used to plough the vineyards where possible. The grapes are rigorously sorted on a table de tri, then destalked and fermented without much punching down or pumping over. They will be racked once during the elevage, but Thibault is not afraid of reductive flavours at this stage which, he feels, adds to the eventual substance and complexity of the wine. The oak regime is not to exceed 50% new barrels but also not to use any barrels more than three years old. The natural style of Thibault’s wines is plump and full-bodied, though the benefits of his farming methods seem to be bringing a more mineral aspect to the fruit as well. JASPER MORRIS MW
it is refreshing to taste wines that deliver so much quality at prices that are quite reasonable. Liger-Belair’s Côte de Nuits reds are going to be hard to find, but if you see them, don’t hesitate. ANTONIO GALLONI
Thibault Liger-Belair (only distantly related to Louis-Michel Liger-Belair: their great-grandfathers were brothers) has garnered a lot of attention in recent years. His star is quickly rising and he is getting something of a rabid following. A large part of the allure of the domaine, other than his super holdings, is the man himself. By all accounts he is one of the Cote’s most thoughtful, considered and curious vignerons. He is always tweaking and finding ways to make his wines “more natural” but is quick to explain that he is not of that camp.
His house style tends towards opulence and richness of fruit but they do not cross over in to that late harvest, long hang time style that you see with some producers. I think he is working towards crafting wines that marry richness with energy and high toned fruit profiles. He has made great strides towards his lofty ambition and the praise he receives today seems justified. As good as the wines can be now I think he is still working hard to make them even better, that is the sign of a great producer, always looking for how he can better express his sites in the bottle.
There isn’t much of these wines to go around, there never is really, and the demand for them is reaching fever pitch these days. If you are interested I suggest getting in quickly to avoid disappointment.
As always please feel free to contact me directly if you would like to chat about the wines or place an order. You can reach me at the store on 03 9686 3033 or simply reply to this email.