2017 Morey-St Denis, Vieilles Vignes, Lignier-Michelot, Burgundy
About this WINE
Virgile Lignier has worked alongside his father since 1988, really taking charge from 2000 by which time all the wines were being bottled at the domaine. Significant advances were made in the vineyards, reducing yields and ploughing the soil, along with the introduction of a sorting table and a higher percentage of new wood in the cellar.
Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director and author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.
Morey is sometimes ignored between its two famous neighbours, Chambolle-Musigny and Gevrey-Chambertin, but its wines are of equal class, combining elegance and structure. Morey-St Denis, being that little bit less famous, can often provide excellent value.
The four main Grand Cru vineyards continue in a line from those of Gevrey-Chambertin, with Clos St Denis and Clos de la Roche the most widely available. Clos des Lambrays (almost) and Clos de Tart (entirely) are monopolies of the domains which bear the same names.
Domaine Dujac and Domaine Ponsot also make rare white wines in Morey-St Denis.
- 64 hectares of village Morey-St Denis
- 33 hectares of Premier Cru vineyards (20 in all). Best vineyards include Les Charmes, Les Millandes, Clos de la Bussière, Les Monts Luisants
- 40 hectares of Grand Cru vineyard. Clos de Tart, Clos des Lambrays, Clos de la Roche, Clos St Denis and a tiny part of Bonnes Mares
- Recommended Producers: Dujac, Ponsot, Clos de Tart, Domaine des Lambrays
Pinot Noir is probably the most frustrating, and at times infuriating, wine grape in the world. However when it is successful, it can produce some of the most sublime wines known to man. This thin-skinned grape which grows in small, tight bunches performs well on well-drained, deepish limestone based subsoils as are found on Burgundy's Côte d'Or.
Pinot Noir is more susceptible than other varieties to over cropping - concentration and varietal character disappear rapidly if yields are excessive and yields as little as 25hl/ha are the norm for some climats of the Côte d`Or.
Because of the thinness of the skins, Pinot Noir wines are lighter in colour, body and tannins. However the best wines have grip, complexity and an intensity of fruit seldom found in wine from other grapes. Young Pinot Noir can smell almost sweet, redolent with freshly crushed raspberries, cherries and redcurrants. When mature, the best wines develop a sensuous, silky mouth feel with the fruit flavours deepening and gamey "sous-bois" nuances emerging.
The best examples are still found in Burgundy, although Pinot Noir`s key role in Champagne should not be forgotten. It is grown throughout the world with notable success in the Carneros and Russian River Valley districts of California, and the Martinborough and Central Otago regions of New Zealand.
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From Très Girard (60 years old), Les Cognées (68) and the village section of Chenevery (70, just under Les Millandes), the deeper clay soils here give more density and also mean the wine shows less of the floral perfume found in Virgile’s other wines. It’s peppery and spicy with good density of fruit. Drink 2020-2025
Having tasted numerous different wine styles Virgile decided he loves wines made with whole bunches, and has set about changing his winemaking to include a larger proportion each year, arriving now at a stage where he can’t imagine himself using less than 50 percent. His winemaking is consequently very gentle to avoid extracting harsh tannins from the stems. He began harvesting on 10th September, a little later than some neighbours as he waited for the stems to ripen. Virgile feels this is a vintage which has gained enormously from élevage, giving fine, elegant wines which will drink well early and age surprisingly well.
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