2002 Liger Belair Vosne Romanee Clos du Chateau

2002 Liger Belair Vosne Romanee Clos du Chateau

Appellation: Vosne Romanee
Country: France
Burghound Rating: 90
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Burghound Producer note:
The young Louis-Michel Liger-Belair, who has added two new and important wines for 2002, calls the vintage "a real surprise. We had rot everywhere at the beginning of September and I was beginning to think that we were going to have another 1994 on our hands. Thankfully, there wasn't a lot of it but the initial signs were widespread. And then the famous north wind blew and completely changed the vintage as it stopped the rot, preserved the acidity and concentrated everything. In fact, it drastically concentrated the crop as it reduced yields to between 32 and 36 hl/ha but because the acidity was preserved, the grapes were beautifully balanced. Sugars were quite high and we chaptalized only .2%, which was really just to prolong the fermentations then it was to add alcohol. The vintage reminds me a lot of 2000 in that it's already agreeable. The malos were done early, in fact by December but since I don't rack after they're done, I don't really care whether they finish early or late. I have to watch my SO2 levels if they finish early but I try very hard to add none at all". He will bottle by gravity with no pumps in January, which is earlier than usual because Liger-Belair is worried about drying the wines out if they're left too long in cask. The Liger-Belair '01s have turned out just as well as they appeared from cask and are all recommended.

 Now that the sharecropping arrangement with Régis Forey has ended, Liger-Belair is responsible for all of the vineyard work for these vines and will retain 50% of La Columbière, Reignots and La Romanée. The other half will continue to be raised, bottled and commercialized by Bouchard. However, in 2006, Liger-Belair will keep and market 100% of the wine under the domaine label. Thus, for the next 4 vintages, which is to say 2002 through 2005, there will be two versions of La Romanée (as well as the other two wines), which will make for interesting comparisons as only the élevage will vary.

Tasting note: Light ruby color. In the space of only 10 minutes, this changed dramatically in the glass to reveal subtle wood notes that frame exuberant, stylish and pure black fruit aromas and spicy, rich, beautifully detailed flavors that are linear but not strict and a beautifully balanced, precise and persistent finish. This delivers excellent quality for its level and is très Vosne in its personality. Burghound 90

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