|his formidable Grand Cru has always been the standard bearer of the Lignier domaine. I frequently joke to Hubert Lignier that the only mistake I ever witnessed him commit was his decision to sell off his 1981 Clos de la Roche to negociants because he thought it wasn’t up to his standards. This is a complete wine marked by somber black fruits and firm yet subtle tannins; it has exceptional breed and fine aging potential. Our personal collection dates back to the first vintage we purchased from Hubert Lignier: 1978 … and it is still a marvel to behold. The Ligniers own one hectare in Clos de la Roche. The vines are between 50 and 60 years of age split between two holdings: 0.62 hectares in the climat of “Monts Luiants” and 0.28 hectares in ‘Les Fremieres”.
Clos de la Roche possesses an unusually broad variety of soil types, and Lignier’s rendering of this cru seems to capture this complexity in its endlessly layered mineral core. It is a wine of imposing power and density, massive in scale but also incredibly nuanced—in fact, it is almost paradoxical in its ability to express such size but also render such fine detail. Needless to say, the wine develops beautifully, regally, and glacially in bottle, as many older wines enjoyed over the past few decades have so emphatically illustrated.