Note: from a .27 ha parcel, most of which is young vines of 15 years though there is a parcel approximating 15% of the total with <40 years of age
Producer note: Virgile Lignier told me that 2008 was a vintage where "the saving grace was the north wind, which is also responsible for forming its character, much as it did in 1996 and 2002. As such, it was primarily maturation through evaporation rather than through the more typical heat and light. Having seen this phenomenon before, I waited as long as I could so that my fruit could benefit from what sunshine and luminosity that there was. I began picking on the 2nd of October because I could see that there was no photosynthesis going on and there was nothing to be gained by waiting any longer. Waiting though had its price as it was necessary to eliminate a lot of fruit. In fact, I would estimate my average loss at 30%. Sugars were better than I thought they would be at between 11.5 and 12.5% and I had one parcel at 13%. I limited the chaptalization to no more than half a degree. The '08s are extremely transparent and I was positive that boosting the alcohols would immediately, and permanently, mark the wines. As I did in 2007, I elected to use some whole clusters, which varied between 10 and 20% though for the old vines Morey, it was 30%, the Clos St. Denis saw 50% and for the Charmes-Chambertin, it was 100%. The '08 vintage is not really to my taste but I have to say that it's certainly better than I anticipated that it would be. And in tasting the wines, it's immediately apparent that 2008 respected the hierarchy of appellations as there are big quality differences between each level." Note: Lignier has a small négociant activity and the wines are sold under Maison Virgile Lignier.
Tasting note: Like all of these grands crus, this is a very ripe '08 with a layered, elegant and nuanced nose that combines red pinot fruit, oak, warm earth and wet stone notes that seamlessly give way to round, rich and full-bodied flavors that possess a sleek muscularity on the beautifully textured and mineral-driven finish. This is a big wine in the context of the vintage and offers a completely different personality than does the Clos St. Denis.