Tasting of Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair 2011 from cask

Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair is one of the very top domaines in Burgundy, and the 2011 vintage seem to consolidate this position.

I tasted all the 2011 wines from cask at the domaine in early May 2012. The tasting showed that Liger-Belair have made very fine wines in 2011, and will in my view, judged on this early stage, outperform most other producers in this vintage.

In general all the 2011 wines from Liger Belair are very balanced with a fine delicate pinot fruit, a good freshness and acidity to match the fruit. The fruit is at the moment quite complex and nervy, with a good energy. The wines are quite transparent with a very good expression of the terroir.

The 2011 vintage can’t match the outstanding 2010’s from this domaine, but they are indeed very fine and will provide a lot of pleasure for those who love terroir driven red Burgundy.

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Notes from tasting May 4th 2012

Vosne Romanee 2011

The Vosne Romanee village is the first wine in the Liger-Belair lineup. In the nose red and dark berries, and a quite good complexity. On the palate good concentration, but not the same minerality as Colombiere and Clos du Chateau, but still quite finely balanced and fresh. A very good wine.

Very Good (87 – 88p) CASK

Vosne Romanee Colombiere 2011

The Colombiere is a step up from the ordinary village wine. In the nose fine berry aromas, cherries, raspberries with a hint of allspice and violets. On the palate lovely fruit and minerality, but in this year not able to match Clos du Chateau.

Very Good+ (88 – 90p) CASK

Vosne Romanee Clos du Chateau 2011

The Clos du Chateau 2011 is a real beauty. In the bouquet fine fruit notes – cherries, raspberries and strawberries, finely spiced with hints of peony rose and allspice. On the palate more vibrant and fresh, with fine delicate acidity and a beautilful mineral note. It’s very refined and seem more transparant and balanced than the other village wines. Very elegant and delicate. Love this wine!

Fine (90 – 92p) CASK

Nuits-Saint-Georges Les Lavieres 2011

The Lavieres is a very fruity and charming effort in 2011. In the nose fine slightly darker fruit aromas – black cherries and raspberries. On the palate more lush fruit, very elegant and charming. It’s a lovely wine, but not quite able to match the two Vosne lieu dit’s.

Very Good (88 – 89p) CASK

Vosne Romanee Chaumes 2011

The Chaumes is getting better year after year, and the use of 15% whole clusters gives a more structured and balanced wine. The nose in the 2011 is at this stage quite complex, whith red berries and spicy notes – peony rose and a slight hint of violets and allspice. A little more body and weight than the Clos du Chateau, but less minerality. In my view Clos du Chateau is the more refined wine in 2011, but get the Chaumes if you wan’t the extra weight and depth.

Very Good+ (89 – 91p) CASK

Vosne Romanee Les Suchots 2011

Les Suchots is not my favorit wine from Liger-Belair – but the 2011 version is quite charming. In the bouquet a quite delicate collection of red and darker berries, with the oak slightly more present. On the palate good focus, a deep fruit and a fine balance. The 15% whole clusters have shaped the wine, and the delicate fruit aromas of the 2011 vintage also suits the terroir.

Fine (91 – 93p) CASK

Nuit-Saint-Georges Les Cras 2011

The Nuits Saint Georges Les Cras is a slightly overlooked wine from Liger-Belair. Les Crass 2011 is a very nice effort – with loads of pure nuanced fruit. The bouquet is showing beautiful red and darker fruit aromas – refined and charming. On the palate a quite focused wine with a wonderful mineral note. I normally prefer the Vosne Romanee wines, but this is really a fine wine.

Fine (92 – 93p) CASK

Vosne Romanee Les Brulees 2011

The Brulees 2011 is a very rare wine to taste. Liger-Belair only makes one cask from the 0,1157ha and the wine is not sold on the market – unfortunately. Les Brulees is at the moment slightly closed, with some reduction in the nose. The nose is nevertheless showing fine complex red fruit aromas, and spicy notes + peony rose. On the palate it offers a wonderful minerality, quite tightly knit and very elegant.

Very Fine (92 – 94p) CASK

Vosne Romanee Les Petit Monts 2011

The Vosne Les Petit Monts is always a very charming wine – and the 2011 is no exception. In the bouquet loads of refined jelly fruit aromas and notes of pommegranate, allspice and peony rose. On the palate lovely lush fruit balanced by a refined minarality and a quite fresh acidity. Very elegant, with a lot of finesse.

Very Fine (92 – 94p) CASK

Vosne Romanee Aux Reignots 2011

Aux Reignots is normally a quite muscular, mineralic and powerfull wine. The 2011 vintage has however added new dimensions to the Aux Reignot. In the bouquet very refined sweet fruit notes – strawberries and forrest berries – combined with the wonderful minerality from the terroir. On the palate layers of fruit, very good balance and structure from the strong mineralic backbone. A very charming and refined Aux Reignot – Very Fine or perhaps even Outstanding.

Very Fine+ (93-95p) CASK

Echezeaux 2011

The Echezeaux is getting better and better as Louis-Michel Liger-Belair gets the vineyards in shape. Made from old vines in the very good parcels Cruots and Champs Traversin. The nose is slightly closed at the moment, but showing layers of complex fruit aromas and minerality – notes of cherries, strawberries, violets and peppar. On the palate layers of fruit and mineralic aromas, powerful and yet refined. Truly a grand cru effort with finesse and length.

Outstanding (94 – 95p) CASK

La Romanee 2011

La Romanee 2011 is a very intense wine. In the bouquet very intense fruit aromas, with notes of strawberries, cherries, violets and peony rose. On the palate layers of lush and intense fruit balanced by the excellent structure and minerality. The intensity of this wine is at another level than most other Grand Cru, but still it’s refined, elegant and balanced. Exceptional length (from Vosne to Beune) a truly extraordinary wine.

Extraordinary (96 – 98p) CASK

2011 compared to the 2010 vintage

The ratings of the 2011 vintage might look quite similar to the ratings of the 2010 vintage – tasted from cask in July 2011.

In reality the 2010 vintage will be at the very top of the points range indicated after the first tasting from cask, and some wines will perhaps be rated even higher when they are settled on bottle.

While the 2011 Liger-Belair wines are charming and very fine, the 2010 vintage is in my view clearly the better vintage.

Last but not least, the wines have been tasted on a quite early stage, and the development in cask and bottling can change quite a lot. I’m however confindent that these wines are very fine, and will provide a lot of pleasure for the fortunate Burgundy lovers.

Tasting Notes for this producer

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