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Average critic rating : 89.0 points
An especially darkly-fruited, sappy personality accrues to Thibault Liger-Belair's 2006 Vosne-Romanee Aux Reas, with suggestions of moss, peat, and bitter dark chocolate adding further to its rather sinister personality. This is also a relatively hard, firmly tannic nut to crack, and as such the alter ego of Liger-Belair's vintage-typical Nuits Charmotte. Black cherry, blackberry, and rhubarb contribute a sense of brightness insofar as there is ample fresh acidity on hand, but metaphorically speaking one has to hope that the shroud of tannin will lift and bring light to this formidably concentrated wine. A sensation of underlying chalkiness is also – at least in the present context – both somewhat austere and dark. This certainly needs some years in the bottle, but I shall not attempt to prognosticate. ||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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