Red Burgundy - 2011 - Richebourg - Liger-Belair, Thibault

In bond

  • Region: Red Burgundy
  • Producer: Liger-Belair, Thibault
  • Vintage: 2011
  • Rating: 94
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Tasting Notes

Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair
2011
Richebourg
Grand Cru Red 750 ml
Score: 94
Tasted: Jan 15, 2014
Drink: 2023+
Issue: 53
Note: from a .55 ha parcel
Producer note: Thibault Liger-Belair, who is the cousin of Louis-Michel Liger-Belair (see above), told me that 2012 "was a very challenging vintage from a viticultural perspective. The flowering passed poorly and the growing season itself presented numerous difficulties including notable levels of disease pressure. I began picking on the 24th of September and while the fruit was generally very clean some parcels required more sorting than others. Yields were terrible and depending on the sector we were down from 50 to 70%. By contrast there was good ripeness levels and potential alcohols varied between 12 and 13.5%. I did a bit more punching down than I usually do though it was still a relatively soft vinification. In the same vein I used about 10% more whole clusters in those wines in which I choose to use them. Interestingly the yeasts were lazy in 2012 as it required from 20 to 22 grams of sugar per liter of wine to make one degree of alcohol. [The mandated amount by law is 16.83 grams for reds.] 2012 reminds me of 2008 in this regard as the yeasts were lazy then too. I fermented a bit warmer than usual too but I am happy with the results as the mouth feel of the wines remains quite fine. Because of the small yields I used a bit more new wood though not so much that it marks the wines. The malos took a long time to finish and in some cases they only just finished." My take on the Liger-Belair 2012s is that they are in-line to slightly better than the vintage as a whole. Note that the domaine continues to do excellent work with its holdings in Moulin-à-Vent and this is true for both 2012 and 2011. Liger-Belair explained that his 2011s, revisited below, were bottled between May and September 2013. Readers should be aware that the Liger-Belair cellars are very deep and particularly cold and thus many of the wines are often strongly reduced. (Vineyard Brands, www.vineyardbrands.com, Birmingham, AL; Lay & Wheeler, www.laywheeler.com, UK, O.W. Loeb, www.owloeb.com, UK and Berry Brothers & Rudd, www.bbr.com, UK).
Tasting note: This is also brooding though again aggressive swirling liberates exceptionally fresh and intensely floral aromas that also feature notes of various red berries and a beautiful array of spice notes that include anise, hoisin, soy and sandalwood. There is extraordinary intensity to the mineral-driven, focused and powerful imposingly scaled flavors that are tightly wound around a core of ripe but very firm tannins before exploding in a mouth coating and palate staining finish. This is a classic Richebourg and presently very austere that will require at least 12 to 15 years to shed its considerable tannins.