Indulgence. Hedonistic indulgence and joy: This what the wines of Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair bring me.
They have a certain ability to please my palate, to thrill, to seduce. Some more than others, naturally. Yet for me, many have a hint of magic, regardless of vintage and level.
The best wines from this estate are almost sinfully decadent, and in their own way almost mythically complex.
Yes, they have their distinctive style, like all wines. And yes, they express that style relatively strongly. But in the end, that is a part of what I love, as apparently do many other collectors.
Some find the wines a bit too colourful; others feel too strong a signature. I am however happy to settle for the utmost in seductive pleasures. For me they are vins d’émotion.
The 2019s from Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair
The 2019s are a truly exciting vintage – in reality surprisingly hot. Yet the wines have a breath-taking, almost supernatural, freshness and energy.
The key will be keeping the freshness and energy in the wines through bottling. If that is successful, then we are in for some unbelievably hedonistic treasures.
I never tasted the 2009s here from cask, but they have really blossomed after years of waiting and are now showing the true beauty of that vintage. The wines are refined and have excellent balance for such a generous, warm year.
But the 2019s are better: more concentrated from lower yields, coupled with the intriguing freshness that surpasses 2009, 2015 and 2018.
They will clearly take time to unfold and blossom, but this could well be the best vintage yet produced at the Liger-Belair estate.
It’s too early to declare this the vintage of the century, but there is an unusual combination of ripeness, limited yield, and tremendous freshness and energy that I have so far never seen from this estate.
Let’s go to the barrels!
Tasting the Liger-Belair 2019s
The 2019 vintage is from a hot year, and while Louis-Michel seems to have nailed it, it will not be without paying great attention to detail, including in the last part of the elevage.
The wines here are elegant, quite forward, and intense, with excellent weight and a (sorry; I’m repeating myself) freshness that avoids the somewhat charged wines found in 2015.
The transparency and decadent fruit really struck me when I tasted the 2019s, yet the playful sweet/sour energy in the wines is what defines and separates the best 2019s from the rest.
These wines look like being better than even the extraordinary 2010s and 2009s from this domaine.
Tasting notes for the Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair 2019s
The tasting included the usual lineup, but also included a fairly recent addition: a Nuits-Saint-Georges village made from young vines in the Clos des Grandes Vignes.
For the record, Louis-Michel Liger-Belair uses 100% new oak for all wines except the white, where the share is around 30%.
Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair NSG Clos des Grandes Vignes Blanc 2019
The 2019 is a blessing of a white NSG, coming from the Clos des Grandes Vignes at the southern end of Nuits in Premeaux. The vines here were over-grafted with chardonnay in 2010 by previous owner Etienne de Montille. This has both generosity and intriguing freshness. It is vivid and lively, with a nice imprint of acidity and with beautiful, citrus-infused minerality. The yellow/orange fruit notes (hints of cloudberries even in the whites) giving this wine lift and boosts the liveliness. The best white so far by the domaine, in my view.
(Drink from 2026) – Fine (91-92p) – Tasted 08/07/2020 – CASK –
Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair Nuits-Saint-Georges 2019
This is the third vintage for this relatively new cuvee made from the young vines in the Clos des Grandes Vignes. Relatively light intensity-wise, it does, however, show clear signs of the estate’s style in its fruit expression. A quite enjoyable wine that shows how far Louis-Michel has come with this vineyard.
(Drink from 2026) – Very Good (87-88p) – Tasted 08/07/2020 – CASK
Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair Nuits-Saint-Georges Lavieres 2019
The NSG Lavieres is more Vosne than true Nuits-Saint-Georges. That being said, it does have a slight mineral hint of iron to remind us of its origins. Although a bit reduced, the fruit seems fresh and vivid with 2019’s generous, warm balance. While this does deliver the goods, it definitely lacks a bit of mineral seductiveness.
(Drink from 2026) – Very Good (89-90p) – Tasted 08/07/2020 CASK –
Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair Vosne-Romanée 2019
The generic Vosne-Romanée always shows well. It comes from 11 different plots in Vosne, and in 2019 is energetic and vivid, with fine, delicate mid-palate fruit. It has its hedonistic side, yet somehow lacks the depth of its two bigger brothers. That said, looking at the half-full glass I feel happy; it inspires quite some joie de vivre. A vin de soif even.
(Drink from 2027) – Very Good+ (89-91p) – Tasted 08/07/2020 – CASK –
Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair Vosne-Romanée Colombiere 2019
The Vosne-Romanée Colombiere is quite a step up from the generic village. Slightly reduced, one can really feel the density of the rich, velvety mid-palate fruit. At the moment, it needs more time to unfold and regain some freshness, as it lacks a bit of the exuberant joie de vivre found in the Clos du Chateau.
(Drink from 2031) – Fine+ (90-92p) – Tasted 08/07/2020 – CASK –
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