Size & Type
“Deeper and more structured than the Griotte, Lignier’s 2019 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru unwinds in the glass with notes of blackcurrants, cherries, sweet soil tones, wilted rose petals and spices. Medium to full-bodied, rich and layered, it’s ample and voluminous, with velvety tannins, succulent acids and a broad, expansive finish.”
William Kelley, The Wine Advocate
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Surface area: 10 ares in the Mazoyères Haut vineyard area, planted in 1948.
Soil deeper than in Clos de la Roche and composed of clay-limestone and sand.
The vineyards are located next to Les Combottes, to the south of Charmes Chambertin.
The wines are characterized by floral scents, they are often elegant and delicate yet also possess the power and length on the palate worthy of a rather charming Grand Cru.
Appelation : Charmes-Chambertin
Variety : Pinot Noir
When you’re looking at wines from the great producers, like Hubert Lignier, they optimise every year.
Lignier was one of the first Burgundy makers I drank with that extra spark that raises the wines to the upper echelons.
They make fresh, fine and elegant Burgundies.
The wines are personality-filled, layered, complex, harmonious, they have a seamless flowing nature.
Simply put they beg you to drink them!
Father and son Hubert and Laurent Lignier manage this 9 hectares estate in Morey-Saint-Denis. They practice organic viticulture in order to create a perfect balance for the vine’s growth but have no intention of seeking certification.
The Domaine Hubert Lignier has long had a reputation for its fine wines known for their concentration, depth and structure. From ‘humble’ beginnings bottling small amounts of two different cuvées of Morey St. Denis (the village bottling and the 1er Cru “Vieilles Vignes”) as well as the fabled Clos de la Roche, Lignier now bottle an impressive range. All of the Domaine’s holdings are now bottled under their own label. Hubert’s son, Laurent, is the next generation of this proud estate and is following his father’s traditional practices to ensure the treasures coming from the family’s impressive vineyard holdings continue to exhibit the best of their respective appellations. The Domaine owns 8.30 hectares principally in the villages of Morey Saint Denis (where their home and the cellars are located), Gevrey Chambertin and Chambolle Musigny. Recently, the Ligniers have expanded their holdings to include parcels in the appellations of Nuits Saint Georges and Pommard. The Ligniers follow the principles of “lutte raisonnée” (sensible combat) in their viticulture: for example, only organic compost is used when necessary and the vineyard is tilled so that no herbicides are used. Yields vary from 20 to 55 hectoliters per hectare depending on the conditions of the growing season and the appellation. The thin, clay and limestone soil on the slopes is not conducive to vigorous growth and limits the crop naturally. A “green harvest” is used when necessary to further manage production to ensure perfect maturity. Young vines are trained using the Cordon de Royat (spur training) system, which helps control the vigor and yields as well. Of critical importance, the “sélection massale” system (i.e. replacing missing vines with cuttings from the same vineyard) is the only method used to propagate vines, a tradition that gives an extra touch of complexity and character to the resulting wines.
At harvest time, the pickers remove any unhealthy clusters in the field, to avoid contamination of the healthy grapes in the baskets, a practice that is supplemented with a “table de trie” at the cuverie.
Traditional vinification practices are the core of their work: grapes are destemmed and fermentation takes place in open-top cement tanks that allow manual pigéage. Only natural yeasts are used. Laurent uses an extended cold soak maceration period prior to fermentation to allow greater extraction (contrary to his father who believes that the best extraction takes place during the alcoholic fermentation). Fermentation is rather long and generally lasts 15 to 20 days following the cold soak of 5 days. The use of new oak for the élevage is carefully restrained; the norm being approximately 20% to 30% on the village wines and up to 50% for the Premier and Grand Crus. The wines of the village appellations usually spend 18 months in barrel while the Premier and Grand Crus remain in cask for 20 to 24 months before being bottled, all without fining or filtration. All work in the cellar that requires movement of the wine is done by gravity; the wines are never pumped.
Laurent Lignier was proud to announce that the domaine’s vineyards are officially certified as “bio” as of the 2019 growing season. With respect to the vintage, he noted “we narrowly missed significant frost damage and I was frankly afraid that we could possibly be wiped out before we ever got going. However, we avoided catastrophe even though the cold temperatures would have a negative effect on the flowering, so yields were definitely down from 2018 though only by 15% or so except in Nuits St. Georges where there was hail. The summer was interesting in the sense that we would have periods of intense heat yet the evenings remained relatively cool so the acidities were better than would be expected given the warmth. I chose to pick between the 16th and the 24th of September and the harvest conditions were perfect, if warmer than usual. I honestly have rarely seen such magnificent fruit that was so clean and ripe without being too ripe. Potential alcohols came in between 13.5 and 14%, except for the La Riotte and Clos de la Roche which hit 14.7%, with good acidities and I used around 30% whole clusters as the stems were both clean and brown. The vinifications passed more smoothly in 2019 than they did in 2018 thanks to have more nitrogen in the musts. The post-pH malos averaged right at 3.6, which is just fine. As to the wines, I find the ’19s more elegant and fresher than the 2018s as the tannins are finer though the 2018s are more powerful and more muscular. It’s really more of a question as to what style one prefers than having a significant qualitative difference between the two.” Lignier has fashioned some lovely wines in 2019 and in particular his lower level wines offer much to like.
Allen Meadows, Burghound
This is a fantastic short film sharing some of the history of the Domaine and a day in the life of the Lignier’s during vintage.
Domaine Hubert Lignier is based in the Côtes-de-Nuits north of Beaune in the village of Morey-Saint-Denis with wines made from Gevrey-Chambertin and Chambolle-Musigny. In addition, they source fruit from Fixin, a small parcel in Nuits-Saint-Georges and Saint Romain. Recently the Domaine has commenced sourcing fruit from Pommard to the South in the Côtes-du-Beaune. Their prize holdings are of the Grand Cru’s Clos de la Roche, Griotte-Chambertin and Charmes-Chambertin alongside a suite of excellent well positioned Premier Cru’s.
Click on any of the maps below to enlarge.
This too displays a vague whiff of volatile acidity but it's sufficiently subtle as to essentially be a non-issue on the earthy aromas of dark currant and plum. There is beguiling energy to the delineated and focused middle weight flavors that are not as concentrated but, somewhat surprisingly, they are finer thanks to the fine-grained tannins shaping the mildly austere and sneaky long finish. Note that my projected range assumes that the VA will remain at its presently very low level. Barrel sample, unfinished wine.
Deeper and more structured than the Griotte, Lignier's 2019 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru unwinds in the glass with notes of blackcurrants, cherries, sweet soil tones, wilted rose petals and spices. Medium to full-bodied, rich and layered, it's ample and voluminous, with velvety tannins, succulent acids and a broad, expansive finish.
Where in the world does the magic happen?
Lignier Hubert, Grande Rue, Morey-Saint-Denis, France