#28 – 2012 Thibault Liger-Belair “Les Vignes Centenaires” Moulin-A-Vent – France

Estimated retail: $87 -$130

Last night Caracol played host to the amazing wines of Thibault Liger-Belair in the company of the man himself and with a gang of Houston’s top Sommeliers. While I’m obviously partial to the setting, the combination of such amazing wines and people made the night. Great wines are always made better with good company.

Thibault is a growing force in Burgundy. He began his operations 15 years ago, working with purchased fruit as he acquired vineyards and contracts that he thought would make his wines special. Much of his holdings today go back several generations. He’s switched the farming of these vineyards first to organic and then later biodynamic. Seeking to produce the healthiest land possible. Of all his holdings though, none are older than the vineyards he works with in the famed Moulin-A-Vent Cru of Beaujolais. It’s not common for great burgundy producers to dabble in the less heralded regions to the South, but Thibault had a goal to prove the area can make world class wine.

We tried a number of outstanding reds last night from his Premier Cru and Grand Cru selections in Burgundy (Aloxe-Corton, Nuits Saint George, Chambertin, Clos Vougeot). However, the wine of the night was arguably his brilliant 2012 Moulin-a-Vent Vignes Les Vignes Centenaires. It’s a blend of three sites planted between 1875 and 1882. The wine was only bottled in magnum, making it all the better to drink with friends. It exuded a wealth of fleshy black and blue fruit, dense floral, savory herb, and salt (a common element to several of his wines). The wine was powerful and sexy, but without losing that sense of minerality. It’s the sort of wine that is raising the heights of what Beaujolais is capable of producing. Not to mention, it’s a thrilling food wine that proved to be a delectable partner with fresh-caught, wood-grilled, achiote-rubbed, snapper. ∞

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