Thibault Liger-Belair is a vigneron I have followed since 2004 – his third vintage, I think. While the wines were good – it took quite many years before the wines began to give me a great hedonistic thrill.
In recent years I have wondered more and more about the work Thibault is doing and the wines he produces – eventually enough to go visit Thibault in his new vinery in NSG.
Yes, I know; it took some time…
And I decided to taste Thibault Liger-Belair’s wines with an open mind and a blank page of note paper. Some feel that this comes naturally for me – the blank mind at least!
Even before the first drop of wine was tasted, I had no doubt in my mind that Thibault Liger-Belair has an organic and biodynamic mindset. Tasting the 2019s confirmed the lively, vivid impression I get mainly from wines made with organic principles, whether certified or not.
Thibault’s wines are quite low in sulphur, and this, coupled with his very precise use of oak, gives them an open, vivid character. They are neither overtly sulphured nor over-oaked.
I am talking, of course, only about the 2019s. But they are indeed very interesting wines.
Let’s taste, with an open mind!
Domaine des Pierres Roses Moulin à Vent Les Vieilles Vignes 2019
A large cuvee, coming from a 6.7-ha plot planted between 1910 and 1955.
All the vines are situated in a belt around the hill of Moulin à Vent. The soil is white and pink sand, which comes from the underlying pink granite and quartz layers. With 40% whole-cluster vinification, there is a slight reduction that gives an attractive, fresh note. Classic and enjoyable? Yes. A vin de soif? Perhaps. More than 15,000 bottles made.
(Drink from 2022) – Good – (86-87p) – Tasted 20/04/2021
Domaine des Pierres Roses Moulent à Vent La Roche 2019
To the top of the hill, and a wine that is more well defined. This has more evident terroir expression, and an old-vine structural element that makes it really interesting, coming from 2.25 ha planted between 1920 and 1945.
I consider this parcel the most beautiful parcel of the domaine. It is located at the top of the hill, about 30 metres from the windmill, on the pink granite outcrop.”
This has lovely structure that presumably springs from the granite soil, and gives the gamay a sappy strength and depth. Whole-cluster inclusion (30%) gives it a nice floral balance. Very enjoyable; wine for a table with friends.
(Drink from 2027) – Very Good – (90-91p) – Tasted 20/04/2021 –
Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair Bourgogne Les Grands Chaillots 2019
A blend of plots in Nuits-Saint-Georges and Chambolle-Musigny. The Nuits plot (1 ha) was planted between 1978 and 1986, while the larger Chambolle parcel (2 ha) was planted between 1954 and 1962. This has a 20% share of whole clusters, and 25% new oak. The fruit is quite delicate, with the Chambolle majority giving it mineral energy. Vinified with a light hand – mainly pump overs. It does drink well – glou-glou.
(Drink from 2021) – Good – (86-87p) – Tasted 20/04/2021 –
Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair Hautes-Côtes de Nuits La Covée de Villy 2019
This is a magnificent Hautes-Côtes de Nuits brimming with fine limestone – almost like licking the mineral soil.
These vines grow in very stony soil, mainly composed of lava stone, the primary limestone that forms the basis of the Côte. The first 30 centimetres of soil are composed of red-orange clays rich in ferrous elements.”
With airy and vivid fruit, this is light-footed and organic style-wise, again with a light-handed vinification. I truly like this; it has a very fine, stony feel, and is fully destemmed, giving the wine a mineral purity. This is a delightful glass.
(Drink from 2025) – Very Good – (88-89p) – Tasted 20/04/2021 –
Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair Hautes Côtes de Nuits Le Clos du Prieuré 2019
This Hautes Côtes comes from the hills of Arcenant, from white marl. It is somewhat more closed than the Villy, yet with more substance from deeper soil that draws another picture. I prefer the limestone of the Villy, as the 40% whole-cluster inclusion paints with a somewhat broader stroke. Interesting, but in a different way.
(Drink from 2027) – Good – (87p) – Tasted 20/04/2021
Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles Vignes 2019
The Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles Vignes comes from five different parcels. South of Chambolle stands Fouchères, neighbor of the premier cru Borniques. Right above it is the famous Musigny with its limestone soil. To the north, next to Morey-Saint-Denis, Gamaires has deeper soil. Finally, we have Fremières, next to Beaux Bruns – two very different Chambolle village lieux-dits.”
This uses 33% new oak and 50% whole clusters; each parcel is vinified and was tasted separately, with the Fouchères showing the most pleasure in the glass with its classical limestone note. To evaluate this wine properly would take a blended sample, although the wines from both the southern and northern side each show an 89+-point potential – if one likes points.
(Drink from 2027) – Very Good – (88-90p) – Tasted 20/04/2021 –
Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair Nuits-Saint-Georges La Charmotte 2019
Home sweet home, from the neighbourhood just north of Nuits-Saint-Georges. This is a classical, yet slightly shy Charmotte. Somewhat reserved, it shows nice, stony minerality with some iron notes, and is airy and elegant without the NSG density and occasional slight clumpiness. I do like this style – meaning a Nuits from north of the town.
(Drink from 2028) – Very Good – (89-90p) – Tasted 20/04/2021 –
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.