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Ric visits Domaine Georges Lignier

November 2, 2018

One of the stalwarts of Morey-Saint-Denis, Domaine Georges Lignier has been active since the 1920s, started, of course, by Georges Lignier, then his son Bernard in 1949, then the latter’s son (also named) Georges in 1970. Since 2002, the winemaking has been passed to the latter’s nephew Benoit Stehly who welcomed us on 23 October 2018. The domaine has holdings of about 16 hectares in 17 A.O.C. appellations. The viticulture here is non-organic, Benoit prefering to be practical in his methods. Formally trained in oenology, Benoit has come to know his terroir and his vines better over the years and his methods have evolved through observation and intuition. For instance, in the 2017 vintage, the grapes were picked early on 3rd September to preserve freshness and avoid over ripening which Benoit felt the latter had been a problem with his 2011 wines when he had waited too long before harvesting. Up to 40% new oak is used for the Gevrey-Chambertin wines while up to 25% full bunches are used. Tasting the 2017 and a few other recent back vintages, I can safely say that the wines of Domaine Georges Lignier are in safe hands with Benoit. They are richly layered and lively with plenty of power and refinement. This is an excellent domaine.

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The confusing Lignier family tree written by Benoit himself

2017 Domaine Georges Lignier Morey-Saint-Denis. Quite effusive in bright cherries and red fruits with a forward balance. Richly layered and structured with good intensity and attack, finishing well.

2016 Domaine Georges Lignier Morey-Saint-Denis Clos des Ormes 1er. Clear ruby. Lovely nose with a hint of burnt sandalwood. Fresh and lively, displaying good concentration and suppleness with a deeper streak of dense minerals. Robust but refined. Quite excellent.

2017 Domaine Georges Lignier Morey-Saint-Denis Clos des Ormes 1er. Good color. The 2017 is more feminine in its lifted rosy fragrance, layered with lovely depth of delicious ripe red fruits. Nicely supple, showing good integration with very lively acidity and fine intensity. Quite excellent.

2014 Domaine Georges Lignier Gevrey-Chambertin Les Combottes 1er. Clear ruby. Lovely aromatic lift of rose petals. Highly generous and ample on the palate with ripe fruits and dark currants amidst saline minerals, structured with sweet dark tannins, layered with fine intensity. Quite excellent. From a 0.49 ha plot.

2017 Domaine Georges Lignier Gevrey-Chambertin Les Combottes 1er. The 2017 wine displays a full warm ripe expanse of intense ripe raspberries, cherries and mulberries, slightly forward in balance with understated minerals, displaying very fine acidity and persistence. Excellent.

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2017 Domaine Georges Lignier Clos Saint Denis Grand Cru. Total holdings of 1.49 ha from two separate plots, one planted in 1956 and the other 1980. Clear ruby, exuding aromas of dark roses and dark cherries, lifted with fine concentration and lively intense acidity with a deep minerally streak. Good presence. Very fine.

2013 Domaine Georges Lignier Clos de la Roche Grand Cru. Total holdings of 1 ha from four plots within. Darker than the 2017 below, exuding a lovely aromatic lift of red fruits and currants. Rather full, fleshy and amply layered with well-defined acidity and detail. Quite excellent.

2017 Domaine Georges Lignier Clos de la Roche Grand Cru. Forward intense bouquet of bright red fruits and cherries. Full-bodied but gently structured, very well-layered with excellent integration of minerals, displaying good definition, detail and vigour, finishing with great mouthfeel. Huge potential. Likely to surpass the 2013 in time to come. Excellent.

2017 Domaine Georges Lignier Bonnes-Mares Grand Cru. Holdings of only 0.24 ha. Bright color and tone. Highly lifted fragrance of ripe red fruits and red cherries. Great exuberance and freshness, displaying superb concentration, detail and layering, structured with highly refined tannins that imparted excellent mouthfeel. Still tightly coiled with tannic intensity at this stage but its potential is enormous. Likely to develop very well. Excellent.

2016 Domaine Georges Lignier Chambolle-Musigny. Reductive nose, displaying a great earthy pungency with lifted tones of ripe red and dark berries. Notably bright on the palate, showing very fine concentration and balance with just the right degree of extraction, proudly poised with highly refined tannins, finishing with lingering persistence. A wonderful village.

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