From €20.49, $22.99, £19.68 a bottle for the likes of Passetoutgrains and Marsannay, neither of which I have tasted alas. Four Walls have a couple of older vintages at £29.75 plus VAT – see below.
Before letting go of that 2014 burgundies that have been dominating this site for some weeks (apologies to burgundyphobes), I’d like to draw your attention to a domaine that seems to be getting better and better.
The Lignier family is widespread in Morey. Georges is Hubert Lignier’s cousin and has enviable vineyard holdings, including more than a hectare of Clos de la Roche, nearly 0.3 ha of Bonnes Mares, and almost 1.5 ha of Clos St-Denis where the domaine is the most substantial owner. In all the domaine has 16 ha spread over 50 parcels cleverly acquired by Georges and now of a very handsome average age in excess of 50 years.
Georges Lignier’s nephew Benoît Stehly pictured here (doesn't he look like a nice chap?) has been involved in the domaine since 2002 and took over sole responsibility in 2008, since which time the wines have become finer and finer. He is very much a vineyard man and, as Chas Peterkin of Four Walls Wine puts it, ‘he has reassuringly purple hands all year round’. He works hard at allowing each vineyard to express itself. Village wines are matured in old oak while premiers crus see 30% new oak and grands crus generally about 50%.
I was hugely impressed by the delicacy of most of the 2014s I tasted at H2Vin’s tasting (the Clos St-Denis was still a bit of a monster) and Julia enjoyed a couple more at Handford’s tasting. I see Richard was seduced by several of the Georges Lignier 2013s at last year’s Handford tasting. The wine I thought was particularly good value was Domaine Georges Lignier 2014 Morey St Denis, the most delicate and refreshing village wine that was on offer en primeur at just over £200 for 12 bottles in bond. Stehly picked relatively early in 2014 according to Handford. He generally destems about 80% of the berries, employs a few days’ cold soak before fermentation and does not filter the wines. They are beautifully aromatic and expressive but are not ridiculously priced.
In the UK the wines are imported by Four Walls, H2Vin, Handford and Laithwaite's, with Four Walls having particularly handsome holdings of older vintages back to many a 2009, including some bottles and halves – see their website. I was particularly impressed by the potential of the Domaine Georges Lignier, Grand Cru 2012 Clos de la Roche (£77.50 or £165 a magnum, plus VAT from Four Walls; £100 from Laithwaite's) and Domaine Georges Lignier, Clos des Ormes Premier Cru 2014 Morey St Denis (£29.75 or £15.75 a half, plus VAT) currently offered by Four Walls of Sussex. Purple Pagers can read my tasting notes.
Laithwaite's have some older vintages too – mainly 2012s and 2013s – and, according to winesearcher.com, are also offering 2014s via this link. Georges Lignier wines are also offered by Laithwaite's to members of their British Airways Wine Club. Wine-searcher also lists Exel wines in Scotland as a stockist and Chichester brokers L’Assemblage as offering the wines en primeur.
The wines seem to have reasonably good international distribution (the Cayman Islands is a particular speciality, I note) and are certainly not too difficult to find in Asia and the US – a reflection presumably of their sizeable vineyard holdings. The influential Rosenthal, already importers of Hubert Lignier wines, started importing Georges Lignier from 2014.