Liger-Belair Nuits-St-Georges Les St Georges 2011
From little more than five acres of vines planted in 1944, if there were to be a Grand cru in Nuits-Saint-Georges it would be without any doubt “les Saint-Georges.” It is one of the florets of the wines of the domaine covering a surface greater than a quarter of the 18 ½ acres which make the appellation. This old vine Pinot Noir is planted on a calcareous brown soil that is deep and very stony for rich and structured wines built for aging but surprisingly handsome even in their youth.
Dom Thibault Liger-Belair, Les St-Georges 2006 by Jancis Robinson, 16 Dec 2011
Find this self-indulgent wine
'Tis the season to treat yourself to something special, and reliable, well-distributed red burgundies that are ready to drink do not grow on trees.
Thibault Liger-Belair - the rather more, ahem, substantial Liger-Belair, as opposed to Vosne Romanée's Prince of Belair - is lucky enough to own almost a third of the 7.5 ha premier cru Les St-Georges, the jewel of Nuit-St-Georges (which was named after it, after all). Indeed, local gossip is that it will be officially elevated to a grand cru soon. Jump in before the wines are priced at grand cru level!
Like all Thibault Liger-Belair's vineyards, this has been Ecocert-certifed organic for some time and is always one of his big successes.
He does not make light wines. But nor are they ridiculously overweighted by oak. They are agreeably plump. I have tasted Dom Thibault Liger-Belair, Les St-Georges Premier Cru 2006 Nuits-St-Georges at least five times now, most recently in a blind line-up of premier cru and grand cru red burgundies, and scored it 17.5, writing, 'Rusty ruby colour. Like a heady fruit cocktail on the nose. Sweet start and very charming. Just ready to drink and drenched in easy-to-appreciate red fruit flavours.' I think it will have many delicious years ahead of it but it would be absolutely stunning with any special meal, especially one featuring roast turkey, over the coming weeks.
It is worth noting, however, that this wine has consistently shown well, whether during the en primeur tastings in early 2008 or in the much less forgiving context of the blind tastings of 2006 burgundies that I undertook in Beaune a couple of years ago.
Roasted birds are a preternatural match but Pinot Noir goes with any number of dishes ranging from those incorporating wild game and foraged mushrooms to veal stews or grilled fleshy fish. For a classic cheese pairing hunt down some Epoisse...