Hubert Lignier, Morey-Saint-Denis
‘In recent vintages the ever-congenial Hubert and his son Laurent have furnished each vintage with exemplary, occasionally heavenly wines that rank amongst the finest in Burgundy. If God made wine for a reason, then it was for wines like these ….quite simply this constituted one of the best of my 120+ tastings. These astonishing wines over-deliver in almost every department…’ Neal Martin
Who among the region’s hundreds of producers, will be next to be elevated to the giddy heights of superstardom to match Domaine(s) de la Romanee Conti, Rousseau, Leroy, Roumier ? From our tastings here in the last 3 years there is a compelling case to be made for the wines of Domaine Hubert Lignier. The eponymous octogenarian has been at the helm of the 4 generation family domaine for over 6 decades and in recent years, working in tandem with his second son Laurent. Make no mistake, the current wines have all the necessary beauty and sublime characteristics to be promoted to the very pinnacle of Burgundy producers.
With the pricing of some of these other coveted domaines almost beyond the realms of reason Brunswick are hugely interested in attaining the next ‘great’ in the region. We are delighted to be associated with this fantastic estate. Style-wise, the following quote from Neal Martin sums things up neatly: “elegant, refined, classic, vivacious, poised and intense, these wines were suffused with personality and charisma”. We would go further: they have an undeniable and indefinable whiff of magic to them. There are not too many of those around. This holds true widely across the range – only Rousseau, perhaps, can claim so many unmitigated successes from his line-up of wines and only Mme. Leroy perhaps attains such greatness across such an array of different village appellations.
Laurent is not a showman type, rather a likeable, gentle man possessed of serious intent and quiet determination. Under his careful hand this great domaine has risen steadily to even greater heights than before in the last few years. The style has reverted subtly to Hubert’s own ‘golden period’ wines before untimely family tragedy and tumult struck. They are handled with a gentle touch that seems in keeping with Laurent’s personality. The winery is not certified as organic but nowadays, in practice, it is precisely that. Combined with an extremely patient, ‘hands-off’ approach in the winery these techniques are now producing magical results. The wines are always released late – Laurent likes to ‘tend’ the wines gently and there is no racking after the malolactic fermentation nor any fining or filtration. Use of oak is extremely measured with a maximum of 30% on the Grand Crus and less for the villages and 1er Crus. This patience and gentle approach pays enormous dividends as all the wines show generosity, personality and most of all an unerring sense of grace. Here at Brunswick we think that this domaine, above all others, is the next one in Burgundy to follow very seriously.