The Beautiful 2022s from Domaine Lienhardt

Share

I do not have many friends in Burgundy, mostly acquaintances. Visits I've made over the years were primarily to older winemakers, who were always friendly and down to earth, but due to the generally succinct nature of Burgundy visits  (taste, talk about vintage, handshake), there has not always been a lot of time to develop deeper relationships. This all changed when I met Antoine Lienhardt in 2021, at a small wine fair organized by our good friend Noella Morantin in the Loire Valley. Antoine and I discovered our mutual affection for 90's Hip-Hop, and became fast friends. I have since visited several times, and always try to pass through Comblanchien when I'm in the area, to catch up with Antoine and his quick-witted sister, Héloïse. I was already a fan of the wines, and we have written about them for several years now, but I am even more excited to share these exceptional wines with you as I feel more connected to the estate. What follows is information about the domaine compiled from previous articles we've written. As for the 2022s, after the ethereal 2021 vintage, marked by frost and much cooler conditions than any year since 2016, the 2022s are more exuberant and ripe, well rounded with red and black fruit, and still buoyed by good acidity levels. 2022 is a great vintage to drink or hold, while the 2021s are clearly wines for the cellar (just ask any vigneron and they'll concur).   -Eben Lillie

Antoine in the cellar

Antoine, and his sister Héloïse who manages the estate alongside him, are based in Comblanchien. Though the family had grown grapes for years, Antoine was the first to bottle wines in 2011 after taking over his family's vines, which had been leased out since the early 1990s; Prior to this he had worked for Amiot-Servelle in Chambolle-Musigny. Viticulture is organic and the soils are worked by horse. Yields are intentionally kept low for greater terroir expression.  Fermentation is with native yeasts and there is minimal use of new oak.

Though he has managed the vineyards strictly according to organic principles since he took over, and always vinified using natural yeasts, the domaine is now biodynamic, as well as certified organic. Additionally, Antoine has always been one to push boundaries and has begun to move towards regenerative farming. He is planting trees and diversifying the cover crops between rows in the vineyards to fix nitrogen and offset carbon output, and to move towards no-till farming to further reduce the estate's carbon footprint and increase the microbial health of the soil.

Amphoras and eggs, sandstone and steel...
and the classic Burgundy cellar

At the heart of domaine's holdings are two lieux-dits in Comblancien planted in the 1960s by his grandfather. Separated by a mere 200 meters, Les Plantes Aux Bois and Les Essards both have shallow top soils of calcareous clay (50 cm) overlying mother rock of hard limestone. The main differences between the parcels are the rockier top soils in Les Essards and greater clay content of those in Les Plantes Aux Bois (in addition, though of similar exposure, the rows in the former run east-west, while the latter run north-south). Both have lively acidity, energetic minerality, and a compelling tension between the pure Pinot fruit and savory earthiness. Decant if enjoying now or cellar for 5-7 years to allow for further knitting of the structural elements. These are delicious, terroir-specific Burgundies that impress us more and more with each vintage.

No Longer Available

Lienhardt, Antoine 2021 Bourgogne Aligoté

Aligoté from rocky soils of clay and limestone, aged in old barrels and concrete eggs. The vines are on average 40 years old. This is very serious Aligoté, saline and delicately aromatic, with fine texture. An example of the next generation of Burgundy growers who are producing knock-out wines from this once underrated variety. Lovely mid-palate weight, unexpected for Aligoté, and ample acidity. No need to age this, though a year or two in bottle would probably heighten the expression. The 2021 was vinified and bottled without any added SO2.

  • Out of Stock
  • white
  • 0 in stock
  • $43.99

  • Organic
  • No Sulfur

Lienhardt, Antoine 2022 Côte de Nuits Villages Les Essards

Essards is a single parcel within Comblanchien, with rocky soils and vines averaging 55 years old. The wines spend about seven months in barrels between three and eleven years old. The 2022 is lovely and pure, with fresh acid and fine tannins. Bright red fruit on the nose and palate, a wine that could age, but is so delicious now that it may be hard to cellar. This is the wine I would drink now over all the other Lienhardt reds. The finish reveals structure and mineral length that provide the potential for aging, so it's your choice to go for the charm and immediate joy of Les Essards or to see how elegant and refined it becomes with age.  -EL

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $64.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Lienhardt, Antoine 2022 Côte de Nuits Villages Les Plantes aux Bois

A mere 200 meters from Les Essards, Les Plantes Aux Bois is a parcel of 70+ year-old vines planted by Antoine and Héloïse's grandfather, with clay top soils overlying the hard limestone mother rock. This is one of the few reds at the estate to see any new oak, albeit only about 10%. With North/South exposition (Essards is East/West), the Plantes aux Bois site produces a substantial wine that can age easily for 10 years if not longer. The 2022 shows notes of earth and bitter cherry, and was clearly tighter than the Essards (tasting with Antoine in January 2024). We'd recommend cellaring for at least 3 years.  -EL

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $64.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Lienhardt, Antoine 2022 Côte de Nuits Villages Aux Vignottes

To paraphrase from importer website: "Antoine's third parcel, "Aux Vignottes", produced since the 2015 vintage, is located directly across from Mugnier's Nuits St Georges Clos de la Marechale, has deeper clay and is less stony than the other Côte de Nuits Villages vineyards. Planted in the late 1960s in the village of Comblanchien near the border with Corgoloin." // Tasting this with Antoine after the Essards and Plantes Aux Bois (in that order), Aux Vignottes revealed even more spice and minerality than Plantes Aux Bois - all about earth and leather with very little fruit up front. Clearly a wine for the cellar, not recommended for early drinking. 

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $64.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur

Lienhardt, Antoine 2022 Côte de Nuits Villages 'Emphase'

Emphase is a special wine that is essentially a calling card for the best plots in and around Comblanchien. From several plots, with stones and pebbles, clay, and limestone, aged 1/3 in cement, 2/3 in old foudres. Beautiful, balanced ripeness and lovely warm fruit. The 2022 shows notes of cherries, and falls somewhere between Essards and the others CDN wines in terms of drinking and/or aging. -EL

  • Out of Stock
  • red
  • 0 in stock
  • $74.99

  • Organic
  • Low Sulfur