2016 Thibault Liger Belair Bourgogne “Les Grands Chaillots”

Burgundy, France

Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair is a newer Burgundy estate, established just 20 years ago, however all of the estate’s vineyards have been in the Liger-Belair family since the early 18th century. Historically, the Liger-Belair family were merchants and the vineyard holdings were under metayage (sharecropping), but Thibault Liger-Belair took over the family vineyards in 2001 and started his own winery after studying viticulture and oenology for six years.

The vineyards were in need of care so Thibault focused on transitioning them to organic farming and then biodynamics a couple years after to allow the truest expression of the terroir in his wines. Thibault believes that the wine is mostly made in the vineyard and in addition to organic and biodynamic practices, he uses horses to plow the vineyards so that the soil does not get too compact and keeps vineyard yields very low allowing him to focus on gentle extractions in the winery. Winemaking is kept very low intervention and there is a lot of thought and care put into every decision made – from very specific barrel specifications to making his own natural sulphite compounds – all in the quest to make the purest wines of place.

The 2016 Bourgogne Les Grands Chaillots is made pre-dominantly from a Pinot Noir vineyard planted in 1986 located in Nuits-Saint-Georges; however, in 2016 the vineyard saw extreme frost damage and fruit was also sourced from a vineyard in Chambolle-Musigny to supplement the wines production. It has a perfumed nose of raspberry and dark cherry fruit with light floral tones and underpinned with lots of spicy character with cinnamon, Chinese 5 spice, and celery salt all coming out. On the palate, the wine is medium bodied and shows a lot of finesse with silky tannins and enough acidity to keep it fresh and mouthwatering. A great wine to sip on for a quiet evening at home, or pair with roasted chicken and root vegetables, or with tuna sashimi!