Great wine makers make great wines – a truism of course- but certainly worth remembering when it comes to Burgundy. One of the pleasures here is the classification which sees great domaines producing wines from a range of vineyards, including less celebrated terroir. In the right hands these wines offer a distinctive taste of both the region and the Domaine’s style at prices which invite drinking as well as adoration.
Domaine Hubert Lignier’s are amongst the best examples of this. Wine-maker Laurent, now with over a decade at the helm, and his father Hubert, himself a veteran of fifty vintages, simply wouldn’t put their name to anything that didn’t live up to their ethos: terroir focussed, expressive wines which are a pleasure to drink.
Apart from Lignier Fils et Père themselves, what are the quality factors? I would say good sites and old vines. Below we have an Aligoté from vines planted in 1943 and a Bourgogne Rouge, in magnum format, from vines dating back to 1964. Alongside there’s a St Romain mostly from the south-facing limestone slopes of the “Sous le Château” vineyard and a rich, satisfying Bourgogne Rouge from a vineyard just below Nuits.
Four distinctive wines, true to their origin, farmed organically with a minimum of intervention, priced to drink, share and enjoy – who says good Burgundy must be expensive?
Bourgogne Aligoté 2017
£13.50 per bottle inc VAT
To really express its potential Aligoté needs old vines – These were planted in 1943! Super pure and fresh citrus fruit, succulent and peachy mid palate and a crystalline finish which puts me in mind of Chablis. This is lovely. Quality Aligoté deserves more attention, it can match ripe fruit with a taut energy that is truly refreshing. Bin the Kir!
Saint Romain Blanc 2016
£26.00 per bottle inc VAT
Laurent buys the grapes for this wine from an old friend, one of St Romain’s best growers. Mostly from Sous le Château. The rocky limestone soils give the wines its apricot note as well as its tension and drive. Terrific definition and length. One can feel the quality of the terroir here, and, with the price rises elsewhere, it’s high time we took more notice of St Romain.
Grand Chaliot 2014
£17.95 per bottle inc VAT
A vineyard just south of Nuit-St-George planted in 1987. The rich clay gives a deeply coloured, intense wine with stylish plum and dark cherry fruit. One can feel the Nuits structure here, yet this also displays the Lignier style, it is perfumed and pure and shows a remarkable depth of flavour. Exceptionally good value for the quality and pleasure offered. Drink now to 2024+.
Bourgogne Rouge Magnums
Plant Gilbert 2017
£46.00 per magnum inc VAT
Plant Gilbert lies across the road from Chambolle Musigny and was planted between 1964 and 1982. It gives a lighter, more transparent wine than the Grand Chaliot, but with seamless texture and great length. From the classical 2017 vintage this is delicious and pure now but will improve over the next five or more years, say until 2025. The magnums look beautiful too.