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When you’re looking at wines from the great producers, like Hubert Lignier, they optimise every year. With 2015 having already proven itself to be one of the greats, Lignier’s wines will be divine!

Hubert Lignier’s 2015 Vintage

Harvesting started on 8 September. A quieter year in the vineyards at last! The small ripe bunches of Pinot Noir were greeted with delight on the sorting table and gave us a glimpse of a great vintage for cellar-ageing. The wines are rich and silky on the palate with pronounced black fruit. The aromatic depth inspires the drinker, its substance shows great nobility. This velvety wine is one for laying down …

Laurent Lignier was on hand to guide me through Domaine Hubert Lignier’s now comprehensive portfolio of 2015s. We were briefly joined by the big man himself, Hubert Lignier, who seems to be doing a Benjamin Button since he appears to be getting younger with each passing year. “We had no pressure from oïdium during the 2015 growing season,” Laurent told me. “We began picking on 8 September and finished on 15 September with the Aligoté. The berries were so fine that we hardly needed to do any sorting. We usually make some Rosé from the discarded berries but there wasn’t much in 2015. Although we are 15% down in terms of quantity compared to 2014, the quality was so uniform that it was my most stress-free vintage in recent years. We did a pre-fermentation cold maceration and slowly increased the temperature. The skins were very fine so there was no need to do a long maceration. We did one pigeage and remontage per day. The malic acidity was low but because there was a good level of tartaric, the 2015 is nothing like 2003. We rack by gravity [in the newly built winery] and I will bottle next June.” It was another strong set of wines from one of Morey-Saint-Denis’ finest producers. There is now an almost dizzying array of cuvées either from the domaine or from purchased grapes sourced with his group of friends. Tasting them at the end of November, I factored in that the winter days were “hemming in” the barrel samples, making them appear to contain less fruit than they were actually bestowed by the warm growing season. Of course, the Charmes-Chambertin and Clos de la Roche represent exemplars of their type, quite brilliant wines predestined for long-term ageing, but there is a trove of goodies to be found amongst the wide array of Morey-Saint-Denis premier and village crus, Laurent even going as far as dividing his Bourgogne Rouge into two cuvées per lieu-dit (and yes, they are quite different). They are molded in a classic style, less polished than say, Christophe Perrot-Minot’s wines up the road, much more structured like Dujac albeit with less whole bunch. As you can read from my notes, Laurent and Hubert are not averse from using whole bunch that varies label to label. Myself, I have a penchant for those crus that did include partial stem addition rather than without. Crown jewels excepting, prices remain reasonable and the only thing really stopping you and I from loading up is the small quantities that some of these are made in.’ Neil Martin eRobertParker.com 31.12.16

Vintage at Hubert Lignier

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.

Winemaking

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. Their wines are fresh, fine and elegant Burgundies thanks to the very little intervention in the cellar:  no racking after malolactic fermentation, ageing on lees in old barrels for 20 to 22 months and bottled without fining. That’s the technical bit.

The fun bit, is, the personality-filled wine, layered, complex, harmonious, simply put, begging you to drink it!

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About the Wines

2016 Hubert & Laurent Lignier Bourgogne Rouge

As you would expect from the Ligniers this is better than your average Bourgogne Rouge, its depth and complexity rival wines from more elite appellations.  The vineyard in Morey is 1.5 hectares in size and the vines are 38 years of age.  The Ligniers handle this wine in the same manner as the village wines of the domaine except for a briefer elevage.

88 Points

The 2016 Bourgogne Rouge had already been bottled and, as usual, comes from a parcel planted in the 1950s little more than 50 meters from the winery on the other side of the RN74. It has a perfumed wild strawberry and wilted rose petal bouquet that conveys a real sense of energy. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp tannin, bright blackberry and raspberry fruit with impressive precision toward the finish. What a great entry-level Bourgogne Rouge.

Neil Martin eRobert Parker

2015 Hubert & Laurent Lignier Gevrey-Chambertin

The 2015 Gevrey AC from vines planted between 1950 and 2000, drawing from the climats ‘Reniard’ and ‘Epointures’.

89-91 Points

The 2015 Gevrey-Chambertin Village comes from an exchange of grapes with another grower and is sourced from two parcels. It offers plush red cherry, redcurrant and boysenberry jam scents on the nose that I feel could benefit from a little more complexity. The palate is medium-bodied with supple, quite fine tannin and a brisk line of acidity. This feels linear in the mouth, quite strict for a 2015 Gevrey-Chambertin, although it will flesh out by the time this is in bottle.

Neil Martin eRobert Parker

2015 Hubert & Laurent Lignier Morey-Saint-Denis

From vines planted between 1970-1988 planted in ‘Chenevery’, ‘Grais Gillon’ and ‘Chorvées Gillon’.

88-90 Points

The 2015 Morey-Saint-Denis Village, a blend of two parcels, was raised in around 20% new oak and was completely de-stemmed. It has a perfumed, quite floral bouquet with kirsch, wild raspberry and hints of orange blossom that gain vigor in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with crunchy red berry fruit, the tannins a little rigid at first. However, it seems to mellow in the glass and offers veins of spice towards the finish that needs to succor more body and density. Again, give this a couple of years in bottle.

Neil Martin eRobert Parker

87-90 Points

Two-thirds from purchased fruit, from vines on the north side of the village): Bright, dark red. Aromas of black cherry complicated by game and crushed rock reminded me more of Gevrey-Chambertin than of Morey. Less sweet and open than the Très Girard but still with a fairly supple texture to its flavors of cranberry, licorice and spices. Finishes classically dry, firmly tannic and a bit youthfully tight.

Vinous

2015 Hubert & Laurent Lignier Morey-Saint-Denis VV 'Trilogie' MAGNUM

From the oldest vines in all the Lignier village MSD parcels.

90-92 Points

The 2015 Morey-Saint-Denis "Trilogie" comes from the oldest vines within three parcels owned by Lignier and was cropped at just 27 hectoliters per hectare this year. Matured in 20-25% new oak, it has quite an intense bouquet with layers of mulberry, raspberry and touches of briary, well defined and poised. The palate is medium-bodied with crunchy tannin, a little brusque at first, but it has wonderful tension and the compact finish will flesh out by the time this is bottled next year. I love the spiciness that lingers in the mouth. This is excellent.

Neil Martin eRobert Parker

2015 Hubert & Laurent Lignier Nuits-Saint-Georges 'Les Poisets' VV

The Nuits-St-Georges Poisets was purchased by a consortium of five friends of Laurent Lignier in February 2010. What attracted them is a plot of vines planted just after the war that yield small, often millerande berries.

90-92 Points

The 2015 Nuits St Georges les Poisets, from a parcel purchased by the domaine in 2010, has a floral bouquet with subtle limestone scents emerging through the cassis and black cherry fruit. There is something very "Vosne" in style here. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp acidity, a little gritty on the entry, but then it smooths out towards the finish with black cherries, a touch of blueberry and a dash of spice. It feels composed and harmonious, a wine that should give 10+ years of pleasure.

Neil Martin eRobert Parker

2015 Hubert & Laurent Lignier Chambolle-Musigny Vielles Vignes

From two vineyards ‘Les Drazey’ beneath Sentiers 1er Cru and ‘Les Gamaires’ on the border with Morey St. Denis, both vineyards have silty clay soils. All of the vines are 50 years or older.

87-89 Points

The 2015 Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles Vignes comes from two parcels. It has a lifted bouquet with raspberry and mulberry fruit, the 20% new oak neatly integrated. The palate is medium-bodied with crunchy red and black fruit, delicate and spicy in the mouth with a slightly austere and foursquare, almost Morey-Saint-Denis like finish. I hope that this gains more "meat on the bones" by the time it is bottled next year - I am sure it will and may then merit a higher evaluation.

Neil Martin eRobert Parker

2015 Hubert & Laurent Lignier Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru 'Blanchards'

This vineyard 66 ares vineyard lies just below the Grand Cru of Clos des Lambrays and the village.  The soil is stony, silty and drains well, making a wine that is delicate and sensual. This is the smallest 1er Cru in Morey and is dead centre of the appellation and so is a perfect example.

91-93 Points

The 2015 Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Les Blanchards comes from more clayey soils in a slight dip in the landscape. It comes from 40-year-old vines. It has a lively bouquet with cranberry leaf, wild strawberry and light spicy notes that open nicely in the glass. The palate is medium-bodied with a gentle grip in the mouth, plenty of sappy black fruit with a firm grip on the finish that will mellow with requisite bottle age. I like the substance and body here - excellent.

Neil Martin eRobert Parker

2015 Hubert & Laurent Lignier Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru 'Aux Combottes'

This comes from a plot of 15 ares, the vines were planted in 1957. This vineyard is right on the Gevrey/Morey border and is surrounded by the Grand Crus of Latricières Chambertin to the north, Charmes Chambertin to the east and Clos de La Roche on it’s southern and western sides! The soil is composed of sand, clay and silt. The wines are concentrated and elegant, deep and complex. This vineyard produces wines that are a little closed when young, but with age blossom.

93-95 Points

The 2015 Gevrey-Chambertin 1er Cru Aux Combottes has a tightly wound bouquet with crisp red berry fruit, wet limestone and flinty scents that are subtle at first but unfurl with just a few swirls of the glass. This has a sophisticated bouquet that keeps you engaged from first encounter. The palate is beautifully defined with superb mineralité, a little edginess developing towards the finish that shimmers with nervosité. The small amount of whole bunch fruit allows the terroir to really shine through here. This is superb and it will offer 20+ years of drinking pleasure (though I personally would afford it 3-5 years in bottle).

Neil Martin eRobert Parker

2015 Hubert & Laurent Lignier Grand Cru 'Charmes Chambertin'

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
Color : Red
Variety : Pinot Noir

94-96 Points

The 2015 Charmes-Chambertin Grand Cru, which comes from the Mazoyères sector, has a gorgeous bouquet in the making with joyful red berry fruit mixed with cold stone and subtle oyster shell aromas, the 30% new oak deftly integrated and barely noticeable. The palate is medium-bodied with a fleshy, vibrant opening. There are layers of tart red cherry fruit, crushed strawberry, citrus peel and quince fanning out wonderful towards the finish, which exerts a gentle but insistent grip. What a fabulous Charmes-Chambertin from Laurent and Hubert Lignier.

Neil Martin eRobert Parker

2015 Hubert & Laurent Lignier Grand Cru 'Clos de la Roche'

Surface area: 90 ares over two parcels:
• Monts Luisants: 62 ares; planted between 1955 and 1965 on hillsides with a 25% gradient.
• Fremières: 28 ares; planted between 1953 and 1960
Thin soil composed of white limestone, clay and marl over compact rock known as “dalle nacrée” (pearly flagstone) from the Middle Jurassic.
The wines are always well-coloured, aromatic, dense and complex due to various mineral compounds. The wines are powerful due to their intensity on the palate, but their tannins are concentrated, fine and silky. This is a charismatic wine of great class! Built for very long ageing.

Appelation : Clos de la Roche
Color : Red
Variety : Pinot Noir

96-98 Points

The 2015 Clos de la Roche Grand Cru comes from 0.65-hectare in Montluisants and 0.25-hectare in Les Fremières; it matured entirely in new oak, including 25% whole bunch fruit. It has a very succinct and harmonious bouquet with layers of ripe red berries, cold limestone, a touch of violet and orange blossom. So pure and refined. The palate is medium-bodied with crisp acidity, very harmonious in the mouth, quite linear compared to recent vintages, but exuding precision and intensity on the finish that lingers long in the mouth. It leaves a saline residue that urges you back for another sip. This is an outstanding Clos de la Roche that will give 25+ years of pleasure. Chapeau Laurent et Hubert.

Neil Martin eRobert Parker

98 Points

The Domaine Lignier Clos de la Roche is one of the wines of the vintage in 2015. This is a majestic wine in the making, soaring from the glass in a refined constellation of plums, red and black cherries, raw cocoa, gamebird, a stunning base of soil tones, woodsmoke, pungent violets and vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and sappy at the core, with a great sense of reserve, superb backend mineral drive, fine-grained tannins and a very, very long, very refined and energetic finish. Young Clos de la Roche is very rarely this elegant and refined in profile! 2025-2085.

John Gilman

93-96 Points

Mostly from Mont Luisants, the rest from Les Fremières, next to Clos Saint-Denis): Healthy deep red. Compelling high-pitched perfume of pomegranate, cranberry, minerals, spices and orange zest. Suave and utterly fine-grained on the palate, with its red berry and spice flavors lifted by a rose petal quality that I normally associate with Clos Saint-Denis. Most impressive today on the outstanding slowly building finish, which saturates the palate with sweet red and purple berries and spices and seamless, noble tannins. Not a black-fruit style of Clos de la Roche and not a bit hard. This wonderfully juicy, precise wine leaves the palate vibrating.

Vinous

92-94 Points

As is almost always the case chez Lignier this is the best wine in the range though aromatically it is all but mute at present. On the plus side is the wonderful texture to the sleek, intense and muscular middle weight plus flavors that possess focused power and a fine bead of minerality that continues onto the mouth coating and beautifully persistent finish. This beauty is very backwards but everything is in place such that it should amply repay extended cellaring.

Alan Meadows