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La Romanée's tiny 0.84ha, under half the size of its neighbour La Romanée-Conti, make it the smallest Appellation Controlée in France. A monopoly of the Liger Belair family since the 1830s, La Romanée is just above La Romanée-Conti and therefore has a slightly steeper slope and shallower soil. Since 2002 the wine has been made by Vicomte Louis Michel Liger-Belair who heads up the Domaine du Comte Liger Belair estate, turning La Romanée into one of the truely great Burgundies it always had the potential to be. Though closed and reserved in its youth, the wine habitually displays an elegance and haunting brilliance, and after a minimum of 7-10 year's bottle age blossoms into one of the very best red wines in Burgundy, if not the world. Approximately 300 cases are made each year.
Louis-Michel Liger-Belair’s wines keep getting better. The improvement is less a reflection of the underlying vintages and more the result of the work the estate has done to convert their vineyards to biodynamic farming. These are some of the most unique and compelling wines being made anywhere in Burgundy. The house style emphasizes the weightless transparency, finesse and sweetness that only Pinot Noir (and perhaps Nebbiolo) is capable of. As good as the 2010s are, the 2009s have also turned out beautifully. I will report on those wines in the April issue. Readers may also want to check out my video interview with Louis-Michel Liger-Belair posted on www.erobertparker.com for more historical perspective on the domaine.
When a vintage like 1996 passes and 13 moon chages take place in the year many growers expect difficult moments to come.
Eventhoug the spring was marvellous and the very arly springbut was not affected by any frost.and due to the high tepertures the flowering rarely ever seen before (only one generation !)
The arrival of the summer ...warm and dry in June, cooler but still dry in July and August. A perfect weather with short periods of rainfall each time followed by intense suneshine untill the harvest helped the grapes to finish maturation (Wonderfull natural degrees from 12° to 13°9).
The weather during the harvest was relatively cold, cloudy but dry allowing the growers to harvest each parcel at the best moment of maturity.
The cold nights stabalised the level of acidity in the grapes and most important protected the grapes from rot.
Our first impressions on the Red wines are very promessing with deep colours and good and intense aromas
For the White wines we detect the sugar/acidity balance of a “ Great ” vintage. Despite of the relatively high yields the wines show power and complexity remembering of the 1990 vintage (equal yields).
One very distinctif sign of a very promessing vintage is the smile in the faces of the growers.