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The February 2021 Auction: Part 4

Auction # 647 | View Auction Schedule and Details
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Auction Ends: 2/25/2021 6:00:00 PM PST

Lot #178. Domaine du Comte Liger-Belair Vosne-Romanée 2016

Description: Consists of 1 Bottle, 0.75L
Score: 88-90 NM.
"The 2016 Vosne-Romanée Village comes from the usual 11 parcels scattered around the village. It offers rounded, quite sensual red cherry fruit on the nose, later wild strawberry and a touch of violet. The palate is well balanced with fine-grain tannin, smooth and again sensual with the 100% new oak barely noticeable toward the finish. Louis-Michel Liger-Belair presided over a reassuringly classy set of wines in 2016. "Frost saved the vintage," he provocatively opined, "which is contrary to what people think. Before the frost, the shoots were six inches to a foot long and that made us think we could have an early harvest. Then the vines stopped working for three weeks and we ended up picking 24 September instead of the beginning of the month. The vines benefited from "cold sun," that is to say, light without heat. That is what makes the wines so amazing. If we had picked on 1 September then we would have made a good vintage but not as great. Instead we made an outstanding vintage even though we lost, say, 85% of Clos des Vignes and 40% in Echézeaux." Being a biodynamic grower, I asked about the mildew pressure. "The mildew didn't effect us as much as the frost," Louis-Michel said. "It was not easy with organic farming. We sprayed salted water onto the vines and this worked better on the slopes than on the plane, which is why we lost a lot of Bourgogne Rouge. It was not an easy vintage but it meant that you worked double time on the vineyards that were less affected by the frost to make sure you eventually made a good wine. But sure, psychologically it was tough for the vineyard workers." As expected, this was a typically sensual array of wines, brimming with red and blue fruit, cashmere tannins and the sheen of new oak that makes them so seductive in their youth. The heart of the range is their Vosne-Romanée premier crus, among the best that I came across during my round of tastings, the jewel that is La Romanée more reserved at the moment. Prices for these wines have escalated considerably in recent years. Start saving now and begging your agent for an allocation." Wine Advocate #234, Dec 2017
Provenance: The Yekaterina Cellar
Notes: Lightly scuffed label.
Lot Location: Orange County
Estimate: $850

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