2012s from Georges Lignier

5/12/15 -


One of the curious things about Burgundy is how one can manage to have a famous name and a bounty of fine vineyards and remain off the radar. One such grower is Domaine Georges Lignier, who despite having 16 Hectares across 17 appellations (including substantial parcels in multiple grand crus), manages to be only the third most famous Lignier of Morey St. Denis. Blessed with vines averaging 50 years of age, Georges Lignier has had the material to be in the premier league in Morey St. Denis and, with a new energy brought in by nephew Benoit Stehly, who has taken over in the cellar and the vineyard, it seems, may have finally arrived.

For those familiar with the wines in the past, there is a noticeable refinement to the wines in more recent vintages. There’s a greater sense of harmony and precision to the wines. They are now imbued with an aromatic fineness and purity which is quite striking. With 80% of  the vines over 50 years of age and a diverse vinestock in the vineyards: (“No clones: diverse like New York,” says Benoit), the raw materials are there. Good work in the vineyards and low yields from old vines help bring concentration, while care is taken in the cellar to maximize aromatics. The grapes are mostly destemmed, native yeasts start the fermentation, and a cold cellar delays malolactic fermentation. Gentler vinification and less extraction are preferred, as the priority is finesse over power.

As with elsewhere in 2012 yields were down and quantities are a fraction of a typical year, but the wines all have great purity, detail, and fruit. The aromatics are lovely and the wines have the balance to age beautifully.  –John McIlwain

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