Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair Vosne-Romanee Aux Reas 2019
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Barrel Sample: 91-93
Barrel Sample: 89-92
This domaine, located in Nuits-Saint-Georges, has been in the Liger-Belair family for 250 years. In 2001, Thibault Liger-Belair took over the vines as the winemaker and created Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair. Prior to joining the family domaine, Thibault studied viticulture and oenology for six years, and worked for a communications firm in Paris where he was able to present and taste wines internationally. In his mid-twenties, Thibault also started an internet company with the idea of discovering and selling high quality wines. But the calling of the vines was still strong, so in 2001, at the age of 26, Thibault decided to jump to the other side of the fence, this time to make wine, his true calling and passion. The year 2002 was the first harvest of the Nuits-Saint-Georges, Nuits-Saint-Georges Charmottes, as well as Vosne-Romanée Aux Reas. In 2003, the domaine enriched its range with Richebourg Grand Cru, Clos Vougeot Grand Cru, Vosne-Romanée Premier Cru Petits Monts, and Bourgogne Rouge. In 2009, the domaine expanded into Beaujolais, and now a Beaujolais-Villages and several Moulin-à-Vent Cru wines are also produced.
This is the village for the most die-hard Burgundy fanatics. Vosne-Romanée has for many hundreds of years been the source of the most sought-after Pinot Noir in Burgundy. The village claims six Grands Crus—and some of the most famous at that—but in other villages where owners manage tiny parcels or a few rows of any one vineyard, monopolies dominate the Grands Crus of Vosne-Romanee.
Of these monopolies, Domaine Romanee-Conti (DRC) reigns supreme, claiming not only more total vineyard area than any other producer, but outright owning the entirety of two of the Grands Crus and a majority of two others. In its full possession are naturally Romanée-Conti, as well as La Tâche. DRC also owns most of Richebourg and Romanée-St-Vivant. The final two, La Grande Rue and La Romanée are completely owned by other other produers: François Lamarche and Comte Liger Belair, respectively.
While one could spend a lifetime on the puzzles of land ownership in Burgundy, the point is that Vosne-Romanee contains the most valuable pieces of vineyard real estate in the world. Pinot Noir from any of its vineyards—especially from within its 27ha of Grand Cru or 58 ha of Premier Cru land—is going to rank among the best.
The most outstanding wines from this village have everything: finesse and elegance coupled with the body and sturdiness for incredibly long aging ability. They are intensely floral and exotically spiced. Beautifully ripe, complex and ephemeral throughout, they are robust, yet fine-grained in texture. These wines will stay gorgeous for the long haul.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”