Thibault Liger-Belair comes from a great winemaking family that has deep roots in Burgundy: he is a direct descendant of the Napoleonic General Louis Liger-Belair, who acquired the Chateau de Vosne in 1815 when he married Ludovie Marey, whose family had been Burgundy negociants since 1720.
Youthful, passionate and always full of ideas, Thibault trained as an oenologist, but had his start in the wine industry as a wine buyer. He is also a former rugby player with a genuine 'down to earth' pedigree. He is deeply committed to the concept of terroir and biodynamic farming and is a quietly passionate and compellingly articulate spokesman for the principles of biodynamics and non-interventionist winemaking. He expresses his winemaking philosophy as follows: "Realizing the true potential of a vineyard follows from a cultivation that responds to changing conditions of the weather, its effect on the vines and the way the grapes mature. Our role is to observe, understand, and act to meet the needs of the vines and so help them reach their full natural potential. At all times it is essential to remain humble before the magic of our soils".
In 2001 Thibault created Domaine Thibault Liger-Belair, which includes two hectares in les Saint-Georges (the vineyard that gives Nuits-Saint-Georges its name), 0.6 hectares of the 4 hectare Grand Cru vineyard of Richebourg, as well as holdings in Clos Vougeot and a collection of well-placed Premier Cru and Villages sites. Recent acquisitions in Moulin a Vent have expanded the domaine into Beaujolais.
According to the highly respected Burgundy authority Jasper Morris MW, “the natural style of Thibault’s wines is plump and full-bodied, though the benefits of his farming methods seem to be bringing a more mineral aspect to the fruit as well”. The ‘farming methods’ include ploughing with a horse; Thibault is just as fastidious in his winemaking practices, rigorously sorting the grapes on a table de tri before destalking and destemming them with minimal punching down or pumping over. He is fanatical about selecting oak for his barrels, literally matching certain staves with specifics lots of wine, and he has switched from traditional Portuguese corks to corks from 200 year old trees in Sardinia because of their superior quality.
While Thibault’s Cote d’Or wines are superlative, nothing expresses his ‘roots’ credibility more than his devotion to Beaujolais. His brilliant wines from Moulin a Vent are a thrilling reminder that not all Great Red Burgundy is pinot noir from the Cote d'Or. Magically combining the delicate fragrance of violets and cherries with great depth of flavour and a very serious backbone of minerality, they are elegant and supremely well-balanced wines that are amongst the very greatest Beaujolais Crus we have ever tasted.