Friday, November 6, 2009

LIGNIER-MICHELOT EXTRAORDINARY WINES









Lignier-Michelot has been around since the beginning of the 20th century, but like so many of his neighbors sold their grapes to the big burgundy négociants. Virgile Lignier, who joined the Domaine in 1988, is the fourth generations to run this fine 8 hectare estate and was instrumental in bottling their wines under their own domaine. By 1992 they began to estate bottle and sell about 50 percent of their wines. In 1998, Virgile took over the reins of the estate from his father with 2000 being the first vintage that he vinified completely on his own.

Lignier-Michelot has holdings in Chambolle-Musigny, Gevrey-Chambertin and Morey St. Denis at the villages level, as well as number of superb Morey premier crus in the vineyards of Aux Charmes, Chenevery and Façonnières. They include a parcel of fifty year-old vines in Chambolle-Musigny from which they make their Chambolle Musigny “Vieilles Vignes” bottling, and all three premier cru Moreys; Aux Charmes, Chenevery and Façonnières whose vines are all in the fifty-five to sixty year-old range. A parcel in the grand cru vineyard of Clos de la Roche rounds out their fine lineup. Total production is about 1000 cases per year.

Over time, Virgile’s philosophy has evolved from that of a technical winemaker to a passionate viticulturist. As he said, “It’s all in the vineyard. It’s not what I do in here; it’s out there. The raw material.” He now spends more time tending to the vineyards and letting the wine make itself. His 2006 vintage shows in the quality of his wines.

As Bruce Sanderson wrote, “The 2006s from Lignier-Michelot, tasted blind in Wine Spectator’s New York office, showed lush, juicy textures and fresh, dark berry flavors.”

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