Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair is one of Burgundy’s greatest comeback stories. A general from Napoleon’s army, Louis Liger-Belair, purchased the stately Château de Vosne-Romanée Estate in 1815 with some sixty hectares of the region’s top parcels, including the celebrated grand cru monopole, La Romanée, still one of the world’s finest vineyards. In 1933, when an inheritance dilemma forced the family to auction off the property, two of the General’s descendants bought back a few remaining parcels, a mere fraction of the Estate’s former glory.
The tables turned in 2000, when young Louis-Michel Liger-Belair took charge of the aging family Domaine. Having converted the vineyards to biodynamic methods, he farms nearly nine hectares (including La Romanée) with a horse-drawn plow. He destems, blends the free run and pressed juices, and lets the lees to settle to avoid racking. Louis-Michel uses three different barrel types from three different forests, and bottles by gravity, free of fining and filtration. In the words of Jancis Robinson, “[they] positively vibrate with a seriousness of intent.”