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Average critic rating : 90.0 points



Raw beef, smoked meat, cassis and fresh blackberry mark the nose and impressively expansive and palpably extract-rich, yet anything but heavy, palate of Liger-Belair’s 2007 Clos Vougeot, with suggestions of caramel and resin from barrel as well as chalk and salt emerging in a long finish. He claims that fitting his holding tanks with “grounding wires” this year (a practice I’ve seen elsewhere as well) has resulted in almost immediate integration of the oak as the newly-racked wines await bottling, but (even as a lay person) I wonder about the science behind this, and I had a similar concern for the 2008. In any case, one hopes the oak will more fully integrate “the hard way” over time in bottle. This has tannin to burn, certainly, but I would monitor it along the way toward what will probably be maturity at ten years. ||Thibault Liger-Belair was bullish on his 2008s – and for good reason, pointing out that for him, the challenge of rot was significantly greater in 2007. That said, his collection from the latter vintage is impressive of its kind, too, and I concur with his assessment (a far more conservative one than I heard from many growers) that the best 2007s should be worth following for a decade, but probably not much longer. He felt confident in both 2007 and 2008 to utilize stems and whole clusters extensively in fermentation, as is his wont whenever he deems it possible. Most of the Thibault Liger-Belair 2008s had been bottled a month before I tasted them – a late start on bottling by the standards he has thus far set. Liger-Belair says he has now settled into a biodynamic regimen for all of his vineyards, after having first tried out certain methods on property he acquired in the Hautes-Cotes in 2004. He opines that among other things these methods have rendered the vine wood more supple, which permits elevating and expanding the canopy without shading the fruit or risking wind-snapped branches, and he believes this expansion was critical to the measure of ripeness he was able to achieve in the prolonged, breezy late innings of 2008. Wine Advocate.June, 2010


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