Having been known as the U.S. importer for Hubert Lignier for over 30 years, in 2014 we expanded our connection to the Lignier name through another branch of the family. Georges Lignier is a cousin of Hubert, and while the two estates are clearly separate operations, they do share some of the greatest vineyards in and around Morey-Saint-Denis. That may be where the similarities end, as the delicate, subtle and seductive qualities of Domaine Georges Lignier are a fascinating contrast to the more intense and structured wines of Hubert Lignier.
The domaine is led by Benoit Stehly, nephew of Georges Lignier, who worked at the domaine for a decade alongside his uncle, before assuming control of the work in both the vineyard and the cellar in 2008. His approach is very traditional, as he seeks to achieve maximum aromatic concentration, above nearly all other characteristics, including structural or color concentration. To achieve this, techniques such as a slightly later harvest and 80% destemming are employed. At the Villages level, the wines are raised in older barrels, while the 1er Crus see 30% new oak, and the Grand Crus 50% new oak. A vein of seductive elegance runs throughout the full range of wines, inviting a complex and beautiful conversation with each glass. The sensitive palate will thoroughly enjoy this approach, a statement of respect for the grandest of traditions in Burgundy and a sublime expression of the terroir underlying some of the most renowned sites in the Cote de Nuits. Since 2010 the wines are neither fined nor filtered.
Overall, the domaine counts sixteen hectares encompassing 50 parcels, across 17 appellations in both white and red.
When it comes to the vineyard holdings, the depth of appellations in both the Premier and Grand Crus is astounding. Overall, the domaine counts sixteen hectares encompassing 50 parcels, across 17 appellations in both white and red. Moreover, these are generally not single rows of rare plots, but substantial parcels within some of the greatest sites in the Cote d’Or. For example, the estate is the largest proprietor of the Grand Cru Clos Saint-Denis, at 1.49 hectares, and controls over a hectare of the Clos de la Roche Grand Cru. More information is listed in the descriptions below, but these holdings, coupled with an average vine age of over 50 years across the domaine, should catch the attention of anyone who appreciates Burgundy.
No herbicide; chemical treatments when needed
Occasional ploughing by lightweight tractor, but only when necessary. Instead, Benoît allows grass to grow between the rows, which naturally pushes the vine’s root system deeper into the bedrock. His is the only domaine in Morey that allows grass to grow freely in the vineyard.
Average 50 years old, young vines average 15 years old, all trained in Guyot. All vines are planted via Selection Massale
Debudding and deleafing control yields, with a green harvest if necessary. Yields average 30-32 hl/ha for grands crus, and are slightly higher for other wines.
Entirely estate fruit
After sorting, the crop is 80% destemmed and ferments in stainless-steel tanks after a short, 4-5 day cold maceration. Cuvaison lasts c. 3 weeks. White Chardonnay wines ferment in neutral barrels. Aligoté ferments in stainless-steel tanks. All fermentations are spontaneous.
Periodic pumpovers during fermentation
Chaptalization when necessary
Occurs spontaneously in barrel in the spring and usually lasts months
12-14 months in barrel for regional wines and Passetoutgrain. 18-20 months in barrel for other wines. Regional and village wines see no new oak, 1ers crus see 20%, and grands crus see 40%. Aligoté ages in stainless-steel tanks.
Racking after malolactic and prior to bottling; wines stay on fine lees until bottling
FINING & FILTRATION
No fining, no filtration
Applied after malolactic and before bottling