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Average critic rating : 92.0 points
From substantial holdings planted with old vines, the Thibault Liger-Belair 2005 Nuits-St.-Georges Les St.-Georges displays both roasted, charred and raw red meatiness to a degree unusual for a Nuits-St.-Georges. Ripe black cherry and blackberry are also very much present, but this wine is not about sweetness of fruit. Substantial, firm but finely-tannic and formidably concentrated, it finishes with dark, faintly bitter berries, roasted meats, beef blood, a soy-like savor, and an intense yet hard to describe minerality. The wine tastes like something one should if anemic. Heady yet not hot in its nearly 15% alcohol, palpable extract rich and thick yet not leaden, it will need at least 5-7 years, I suspect, if it is to be tamed and refined at all. (The 2004, incidentally, was also powerful if very slightly lower in alcohol and displayed intriguing potential.) ||In this his fourth vintage, and (like his cousin at Comte Liger-Belair in Vosne-Romanee) young, ambitious in the pursuit of quality, well-traveled, and in the process of taking back family property from rental and negociant contracts, Thibault Liger-Belair is ensconced in deep, ancient, and bitterly-cold cellars in the center of Nuits-St.-Georges. He has begun pursuing a biodynamic regimen in his vineyards and has inaugurated a rigorously-controlled negociant arm (its wines labeled “Thibault Liger-Belair Successeurs” and designated “S” in my listings). He says he approached 2005 with great caution lest the wines lose polish and finesse to over-extraction of tannins. Certainly the results have included some very powerful and formidably structured wines. Low sulfur and a significant inclusion of whole clusters (“depending on the circumstances and site,” he says, “- I have no system”) are among other prominent features of Liger-Belair’s approach in 2005.||Also recommended: 2005 Aloxe-Corton La Toppe au Vert ($64.00; 86+?). Wine Advocate.June, 2007
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