Domaine du Comte Liger Belair   Nuits St Georges Aux Lavieres

2006 Nuits St Georges Aux Lavieres

By Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair

2003 Clos St Denis Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru from Ponsot, Burgundy, France

As one delves into the world of Burgundy, the name Ponsot resonates with the reverence reserved for a select cadre of vintners. It is with a focused and scholarly eagerness I approach the 2003 Clos St Denis Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru from Ponsot, as this year offers an intriguing chapter in the Climats of Burgundy’s novel.


A Vintage Year with A Vintage Character

The 2003 vintage across Europe was shaped by an infamously torrid summer that challenged both vine and vigneron. In Burgundy, this heatwave has made its narrative vividly present in the glass. The 2003 Clos St Denis Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru from Ponsot stands out as a remarkably concentrated and opulent offering. Conceived in the sun-drenched vineyards cascading down to the commune of Morey-Saint-Denis, this wine encapsulates a moment in time where adversity bore fruit to profound complexity.


Investing in Robust Elegance

For investors of fine wine, understanding the peculiarities and strengths of specific vintages is paramount. The 2003 Clos St Denis Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru from Ponsot represents a unique opportunity—the robustness of an exceptionally hot year married with Ponsot's unwavering commitment to terroir-expressive winemaking.

The result? A dense, rich palate teeming with ripe black cherry and succulent plum, subtly framed by seasoned oak and whispers of earthy truffle—a palatial ensemble hallmarked by a velvety texture that boldly asserts its pedigree.

In one’s cellar, this 2003 vintage lies in wait like a slumbering giant; its potential for evolution over time hints at even greater depth and elegance to emerge. It is such uniqueness in character that makes wines from exceptional years like 2003 valuable assets in any serious wine portfolio.


Concluding Notes on a Standout Investment

The 2003 Clos St Denis Vieilles Vignes Grand Cru from Ponsot stands not merely as a testament to graceful ageing but also as an embodiment of climatic resilience—a sterling addition to the connoisseur's collection. With every sip, it whispers tales of a year when the sun reigned supreme and invites one to share in its storied past and promising future.

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From a tiny parcel of 75 year old vines below Les Murgers, Comte Liger-Belair's 2006 Nuits-St.-Georges Aux Lavieres displays both some of the exotic spice and some of the delicacy that informed the estate's non premier-cru Vosne bottlings. Musky, narcissus-like floral perfume and smoked meat add to the wine's aromatic interest, and fresh red currant and raspberry give a juicy, bright account of themselves all the way through to a lip-smacking finish, underlain by suggestions of chalk and stone. This sleek and texturally-refined Pinot is not what you will expect from Nuits-St.-Georges but represents a delightful, relatively delicate delight probably best savored over the next 4-5 years. Louis-Michel Liger-Belair reported higher potential alcohol levels this year than in 2005, but also maintains that the nature of the ambient yeasts in 2006 accounted for a thankfully inefficient conversion, so that finished alcohols were not noticeably higher. Triage in his cellars, he maintains, was and will in future vintages remain "two to three percent," thanks to restriction of yields and meticulous vine management. Liger-Belair remains a proponent of gentle extraction but high levels of new wood. What I misleadingly announced in issue 170 as "a new negociant side of the business" is in fact an arrangement whereby Liger-Belair himself farms around 15 acres that had previously been tended by a grower who once enjoyed a share-cropping arrangement with Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair (during the long period when their wines were pledged to Bouchard). Half of the acreage in question yields Bourgogne and is genuinely sold as a negociant project, but the rest will be treated to the domaine's vine-papering, biodynamic regimen, including the horse plowing of whose revival they were among the earliest and most conspicuous proponents. Liger-Belair reminds me, however, that it will take time for the effect of this attention to be felt. Beginning with this vintage also, all of the Liger-Belair monopole La Romanee and all of their Vosne Reignots are estate-bottled, none being sold any longer to Bouchard. A Becky Wasserman Selection (various importers), Le Serbet; fax 011-333-80-24-29-70

David Schildknecht - The Wine Advocate, 21 December 2009

Vintage performance