The joy of drinking a true vin d’emotion is unparalleled. Effortless, enjoyable, and hedonistic, these are wines with great drinkability, and they’re sometimes even down-to-earth, with true glou-glou character.
One of my favourite vins d’emotion is the Clos du Château from Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair. Only my budget limits how many of these I can consume in a year.
Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair Clos du Château – the plots
Clos du Château is made from a 0.8304-hectare vineyard located close to the centre of Vosne-Romanée, just across the road (Rue des Communes) from the Château of Vosne-Romanée, Louis-Michel Liger-Belair’s home.
The Clos du Chateau seen from the Rue des Communes
The vineyard is surrounded by a stone wall and is, therefore, a true clos. Below the Clos du Château towards the main road (RD974), we find another of the fine village terroirs, La Colombiere (see maps below).
A bird’s-eye view shows the lower part of Vosne-Romanée.
Liger-Belair’s new winery eats up a bit of the Clos du Chateau vineyard.
The history of the Clos du Château
The history of the Clos du Château is quite simple, as it has been in the Liger-Belair family since 1815. From 1850 until 1970, it was used as a park for the château, with a bridge leading to it from the terrace of the château over the rue des Communes.
Looking at the cadastre maps from 1827, one finds several changes since then to the area included in the Clos du Château vineyard. The old map seems to show that part of the current Clos du Château was then the upper part of La Colombiere.
The Clos du Château today consists of two cadastre plots (105 and 106, see previous map above), and the plot furthest away from the château itself appears to have been part of La Colombiere when the first cadastre was made in 1827.
Also, some changes have been made to the northern end, where buildings now occupy some of the area previously included in the vineyard.
So it seems the original Clos du Château was altered as buildings were added to the northern end. It also appears that some parcels of La Colombiere, with a total area of 0.1671 ha, have been added as cadastre plot 105 to the bottom of the clos.
In 1970, Comte Henry Liger-Belair, Louis-Michel’s father, decided to turn the park into a vineyard, and the clos was planted with pinot noir.
Grapes from the Clos du Château vineyard, however, were not vinified separately until Louis-Michel took over the estate and vinified his first wines in 2000.
Vosne-Romanée Clos du Château was the first wine he made in 2000, and the 2001 vintage was the first wine I ever tasted from the estate, back when it was released in 2003. So the Clos du Château is – in my mind at least – a signature wine of Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair.
Researching the Clos du Château
To try to comprehend why I adore the Clos du Château, I have chosen to take a different approach, beginning with the basis of its vineyard: the vines planted in 1970 were Pinot Droit clones on SO4 rootstock.
You need to login as a Premium subscriber to read the rest of this article. If you are not a Premium Subscriber, use the subscribe function and sign-up.