Domaine Hubert Lignier Gevrey-Chambertin - 2015 (750ml)

Domaine Hubert Lignier Gevrey-Chambertin - 2015 (750ml)

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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.

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 fond 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. Reviewed by: Neal Martin

Published: Dec 30, 2016


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