Cousin to Vicomte Liger-Belair of La Romanée fame, in 2001 Thibault Liger-Belairtook over storied family property in Nuits-Saint-Georges, reclaiming vineyards which had been contracted out to various share croppers and creating a new domaine under his own name. The properties include some of the most hallowed vineyards in Burgundy: The Grands Crus of Richebourg and Clos de Vougeot, as well as over a quarter of all acreage in the Premier Cru of Les Saint-Georges – one of the few vineyards in modern-era Burgundy to be considered for promotion to Grand Cru.
Thibault is a reflective winemaker who continually studies his own methods and is not averse to adjusting techniques. He aims for each and every one of his wines to distinctly express their terroir. The vines are cultivated using biodynamic practices. He maintains that the work in the vineyards is done to awaken the soil and its terroir by encouraging the roots to go deeper in search of nourishment. A good example of Thibault’s exhaustive attention to detail is the sourcing of wood for his barrels. He will go so far as to sort barrel staves based on the side of the tree they came from, as the grain of the wood can be tighter or looser depending on its proximity to the sun during the tree’s lifetime.
All of this effort results in wines of purity and finesse that aim to both fully express the beauty of the fruit and speak deeply of the land they come from.
Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair “Deux Terres” (Bourgogne Gamay 2015)
Special 6-pack price: $178 (~$30/bottle)
Bourgogne Gamay became a new regional appellation as of the 2011 vintage. The Gamay grapes must come exclusively from the Beaujolais Crus but can also include Pinot Noir from regional appellations. The blend changes in each year depending on the quality of the vintage. For warm and sunny 2015, Cuvée “Deux Terres” (meaning the two lands) is produced from 70% Gamay out of the Beaujolais Crus, 40% Moulin-à-Vent, 20% Chenas, 10% Saint Amour, with the addition of 30% Pinot Noir, 20% Bourgogne AOC and 10% Hautes Côte de Nuits. The result is a wine of joyful fruit expression that never comes across as simple. It has fresh, ripe red fruit in abundance and all the purity you expect of a Thibault Liger-Belair offering.
Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair “Les Charmes” (Bourgogne Blanc 2015)
Special 6-pack price: $167 (~$28/bottle)
“Les Charmes” is 100% Chardonnay from multiple parcels all from the village of Mâcon-Lugny located in the southern Burgundy region of Mâconnais. The village borders Mâcon’s heralded Viré-Clessé to the west and exhibits the same characteristics you expect from those exceptional terroirs. Fermentation and aging take place in stainless steel vats for the purpose of producing a wine that is crisp and clean with aromatic notes of sweet orchard blossoms and ripe yellow fruit. On the palate the ripe fruit persists with the telltale Mâconnais fruit medley of peach and pineapple.