. Vite Vinifera De Vino's Blog: Comte Liger Belair

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Comte Liger Belair

In the ways of wine, it has been a good period lately - I guess the summer is over, so it is getting colder, and easier to open some cellar jewels. But before I get into that, I'd like to introduce Susan, a wonderful woman with whom I am glad to have shared some great time and obviously some of God's nectar with recently. Now, the wines - let's start with Comte Liger Belair Vosne Romanee. This micro-winery has a long history in Burgogne; the Liger-Belair family settled in Vosne when Louis Liger-Belair, a Napoleonic general, acquired the Chateau of Vosne in 1815. When the Comte Louis-Charles died, the family’s holdings covered more than sixty hectares principally in the Côte de Nuits, with ownership of some of France’s most prestigious appellations: the monopolies of La Romanée, La Tâche, La Grande Rue, a large portion of Malconsorts, parcels of Chaumes, Reignots, and Suchots in Vosne Romanée, Saint Georges and Vaucrains in Nuits St. Georges, Clos Vougeot and Cras in Vougeot, Chambolle, Morey, as well as Chambertin. In addition, they also held a domaine of fifteen hectares at Fleurie in Beaujolais. In 1933, because of the French inheritance laws and the will of most of Comte Liger's sons, the domaine was auction off entirely. In 2000, Louis Michel created his own ,buying back 1.5 hectares of vineyards in Vosne-Romanée La Colombière, Clos du Château, 1er Cru Les Chaumes. In 2002 he recovered another 1.6 hectares and today he mananages 8.7 hectares of vines in Vosne-Romanée, Nuits St. Georges, and Flagey Echezeaux. I first tried Liger wines at a Liz Willette tasting where I had the pleasure to meet Becky Wessman and her husband Russell. A small taste just gave an idea of what this wine can express, so after receiving few cases of both Vosnee Romanee and Nuits St. Georges 1er cru Les Cras, I shared the Vosnee Romanee 2006 with Piers. We open it at the store and drank it throughout the course of the evening (an hour and a half more or less) without food. These vines are 40 to 60 years old, planted in clay and limestone soil and merely 2600 bottles were labeled in 2006. I had the Nuits St. Georges a week later, this time at the store with Susan, and a decanter to help the wine along. The vines of this 1er cru are 70 years old, and they lay on fine clay soil that covers a limestone base. Fewer than 1600 bottles were produced in 2006.
Both wines were showing, although they were very young, a great complexity. Layers of flowers intersecting with mild wild strawberry scents were hitting the nose and the palate, firm and sweet tannins made for a long finish. The Les Cras was more focused and elegant, showing the age of the plants through a velvet texture with a touch of vanilla that disappeared after 20 minutes or so. Spicier and with great herbal complexity, this was probably the best 1er cru I have tried so far.

Buona Bevuta a Tutti

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