Producer Profile

Hubert Lignier

Côte de Nuits, Côte de Beaune, Burgundy, France

Morey-St. Denis, Burgundy, France The Domaine Hubert Lignier has long had a reputation for its fine wines known for their concentration, depth and structure. Back in the 1970s, Hubert Lignier was bottling small amounts of two different cuvées of Morey St. Denis (the village bottling and the 1er Cru "Vieilles Vignes") as well as the fabled Clos de la Roche. Over time, (and with the prodding of his importer) more of his production ended up in his own bottle, rather than sold to negociants. All of the domaine’s holdings are now bottled under their own label. The domaine owns 8.30 hectares principally in the villages of Morey Saint Denis (where their home and the cellars are located), Gevrey Chambertin and Chambolle Musigny. Hubert has expanded their holdings to include parcels in the appellations of Nuits Saint Georges and Pommard. He follows the principles of "lutte raisonnée" (sensible combat) in viticulture: for example, only organic compost is used when necessary and the vineyard is tilled so that no herbicides are used. The thin, clay and limestone soil on the slopes is not conducive to vigorous growth and limits the crop naturally, yielding grapes with appropriate concentration. A "green harvest" is used when necessary to further manage production to ensure perfect maturity. Of critical importance, the "sélection massale" system (i.e. replacing missing vines with cuttings from the same vineyard) is the only method used to propagate vines, a tradition that gives an extra touch of complexity and character to the resulting wines. The grapes are carefully harvested by hand and sorted in the winery. Traditional vinification practices are at core of Hubert’s work. Grapes are destemmed and fermentation takes place in open-top cement tanks that allow manual pigéage. Only natural yeasts are used. Fermentation is rather long and generally lasts 15 to 20 days. The use of new oak for the élevage is carefully restrained; the norm being approximately 20% to ­ 30% on the village wines and up to 50% for the Premier and Grand Crus. The wines of the village appellations usually spend 18 months in barrel while the Premier and Grand Crus remain in cask for 20 to 24 months before being bottled, all without fining or filtration. All work in the cellar that requires movement of the wine is done by gravity. Hubert’s son, Romain, was the next generation of this proud estate and had intended to follow his father’s traditional practices to ensure the treasures coming from the family’s impressive vineyard holdings continue to exhibit the best of their respective appellations. He passed away in 2004, causing a schism in the family; romain's portion of the estate was divided between Hubert nad his American wife. Kellen, Romain’s wife formed her own Domaine named for her children, Lucie & Auguste Lignier. Though she lacks experience in wine production, she intends for her children to take over when they are older. Hubert intends to continue at the helm of the original estate, continuing to craft his Burgundies in his own way. Considering the story of his estate, one can say his wines are truly rarefied. Production will decrease and his domaine will eventually disappear.

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