The Silver Lining of Burgundy’s Rocketing Prices and Shrinking Allocations – The Rise of the Super Aligoté Cuvees…

Thibault Liger-Belair is cousin to the more famous Vicomte Liger-Belair of Vosne Romanée. In 2002 he took over an older family property in Nuits St Georges taking back the vines which had been previously leased out to various other smaller growers. He promptly rented a winery just down the road and now produces an iconic range of wines including sought after wines from Grand Crus Richebourg and Clos de Vougeot to prestigious Nuits St Georges reds like 1er Cru Les Saint Georges.

The domaine’s vines are certified organic and farmed biodynamically, with horses used to plough the vineyards where possible. The fact that Thibault’s Grand Vin reds are increasingly hard to access has lead to a growing following for both his delicious Aligoté whites as well as his bold and impressive Cru Beaujolais reds.

This wine is produced from grapes grown on a parcel located in Nuits St Georges bordering the Village appellation of Nuits Saint Georges “les Argilats”. The vineyards were converted to organics as soon as Thibault took them over. The vines were planted in 1978 and offer some mature and impressively aromatic Aligoté. The limestone soils give this wine great length and certainly greater intensity than would normally be expected from this appellation.

Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair Bourgogne Aligoté 2014 Clos des Perrieres La Combe, 13 Abv.

A wonderfully vibrant fresh Aligoté expression showing archetypal pithy aromatics of citrus blossom, pear purée, green apples, pithy yellow grapefruit and seductive crushed limestone and chalky minerality. You just don’t usually expect too much complexity on an Aligoté but this wine is nuanced and beautifully animated. The palate has a wonderful elegance and silky light touch, is precisely fresh but not tart, and well balanced with a fine, elegant line of citric acidity together with delicious notes of orange blossom, tangerine peel and apple pastille sweets. A superb vintage delivering wonderful vibrancy, elegant under spoken concentration and a flavourful, liquid mineral finish. Drink now and over the next 3 to 5 years.

(Wine Safari Score: 91/100 Greg Sherwood MW)

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