The 2020 vintage holds fine promise. But it’s also a vintage not without risks and difficulties that could arise if one was not careful.
Thibault Liger-Belair has gauged the vintage correctly it seems by not extracting too hard. Hence he has maintained the energy in and the fresh pinot expression of the fruit.
I really like a good Nuits-Saint-Georges, but 2020 was a difficult vintage for many vignerons there. The tendency to over-extract has been fairly widespread, leading to dark, austere wines in many cases. And while I want to like the ’20 NSGs, a number of vignerons are – sadly – making this somewhat difficult. In some cases, very difficult.
Thibault has, however, minimised the extraction and maintained the energy in the wines, showing the wisdom he’s gained in almost 20 years of experience at the wheel of his family estate.
Letting the wines express their fruity, organic side suits them. Thibault’s wines are quite low in sulphur, and this, coupled with his precise use of oak, gives them an open, vivid character.
In the end, it all comes down to the vigneron not trying too hard, and having the wisdom to interpret correctly and respect the vintage and the terroirs.
Let the pinot flow
Domaine des Pierres Roses Moulin à Vent Les Vieilles Vignes 2020
A large cuvee, this comes from a 6.7-hectare 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, this is quite concentrated and intense. Good drinkability, but I think I prefer the 2019 version.
(Drink from 2022) – Good – (86-87p) – Tasted 28/01/2022
Domaine des Pierres Roses Moulin à Vent Les Perrelles 2020
This is from the southern side of the hill, and the sand/quartz soil gives this cuvee a lighter, more vivid character. It has the energy and vivacity to make it take off, and is airy and quite refined. A vin de soif in my glass.
(Drink from 2022) – Good+ – (87-88p) – Tasted 28/01/2022
Domaine des Pierres Roses Moulin à Vent La Roche 2020
Moving to the top of the hill produces a wine that is more well defined. This has a clearer terroir expression, with a strong structural element. It’s a bit edgy, and the slight reduction makes it difficult to evaluate. It comes from 2.25 ha planted between 1920 and 1945, and the whole-cluster inclusion (30%) gives it a nice floral balance. It’s intense and robust, and will do best with medium-weight food. Why not a roast chicken to celebrate the Bresse birds?
(Drink from 2027) – Very Good – (88-89p) – Tasted 28/01/2022 –
I consider this parcel the most beautiful of the domaine. It is located at the top of the hill, about 30 metres from the windmill, on the pink granite outcrop.”
Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair Bourgogne Les Grands Chaillots 2020
A blend of four plots in Nuits-Saint-Georges and Chambolle-Musigny, the Nuits parcel (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. Grapes from a plot in Arcenant in the Hautes-Cotes seem to have contributed a feisty, stony, citrusy freshness that adds to its drinkability.
(Drink from 2024) – Good – (86-87p) – Tasted 28/01/2022
Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair Hautes-Côtes de Nuits La Corvée de Villy 2020
This is surprisingly closed, offering little more than a tight limestone bouquet. It needs both a shake and a stir, and will take some time before it unfolds its floral beauty. I have a soft spot for this terroir, however.
(Drink from 2028) – Good – (87p) – Tasted 28/01/2022
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 clay rich in ferrous elements.”
Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair Hautes Côtes de Nuits Le Clos du Prieuré 2020
This Hautes Côtes comes from the hills of Arcenant, on white marl. It is strangely more open than the previous wine, and the 40% whole-cluster inclusion paints with broader strokes. This suits the 2020 vintage well.
(Drink from 2027) – Good+ – (87-88p) – Tasted 28/01/2022
Thibault Liger-Belair Successeurs Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles Vignes 2020
The Chambolle 2020 is vivid and lively, with lovely tension and energy. It includes 33% new oak and 40% whole clusters and, while not the most complex of wines, its good pH level and vivid acidity add to its likability.
(Drink from 2031) – Very Good – (88-90p) – Tasted 28/01/2022 –
Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair Nuits-Saint-Georges La Charmotte 2020
From the neighbourhood just north of Nuits-Saint-Georges, the 40% whole-cluster inclusion gives this 2020 a vivid, lively character. An energetic NSG, with good potential.
(Drink from 2030) – Very Good – (89-90p) – Tasted 28/01/2022 –
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