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Average critic rating : 96.0 points
Liger-Belair signified to me that his 2006 Richebourg was shut down, but if so, then when it opens up, watch out! What I experienced was a plethora of red and black berries and spices; a black raspberry and cherry liqueur-like impression on a viscous, rich palate, but with tart fruit skin and salt adding invigoration; and a finish that opened up profound carnal and mineral vistas and left my palate with the impression it was glowing. Just over 14% alcohol is not in the least noticeable here. Firmly and seamlessly structured, energizing and penetrating, this monument to the vintage (even if it seems as though it dropped in from a different one) ought to be put away for half a dozen years at least and should perform well for at least twice that long. For me, this clearly eclipses the already outstanding 2005, which is a tribute to the rapid progress that this young vigneron has made. There are eight barrels (circa 200 cases) of it, incidentally, by Burgundian standards not really rare.||Thibault Liger-Belair commenced picking on September 23 with his Les St.-Georges, as it was already pushing 14% alcohol. That said, he thinks biodynamic vineyard practices have already in his second year of employing them begun to help him close the gap between sugar accretion and ripeness of flavor that has in recent years become a feature of so many harvests in Burgundy (and, of course, not only there). "Every cluster had to be examined and sorted this year," Liger-Belair asserts (with the mere 28 hectoliter per hectare average to back him up), "and you had to be very gentle in fermentation. But I think the results are light without being meager." "Light"? I'm not sure he and I have the same sense of what's "leger," then! "I tried to bottle the wines on the cusp of reduction," he explains, "again, to guard the freshness and fruit and promote longevity." Tasting from bottles that had been open the better part of a day, I was impressed with the wines' stamina, but of course that does not necessarily translate into long bottle aging. (The wines from purchased fruit in this line up – labeled "Thibault Liger-Belair Successeurs” – are identified in the text of the notes, but not as part of the wines' descriptions, since the names used are virtually identical and there is no overlap in appellations. Incidentally, I did not taste this year's Chambolle Les Gruenchers, nor one or two wines of lesser appellation which Liger-Belair did not think were showing acceptably on the occasion of my last visit.) Wine Advocate.December, 2009
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