While this family domain is still not very well known, Domaine des Tilleuls produces excellent Côte de Nuits that combine the region’s tradition of cellaring wines with the current trend of silky, elegant wines that are delicious at all ages.
Wine is very much a family affair with the Livéra clan. Created by Maté Livéra, Philippe Livéra’s grandfather who still manages the domain helped by his wife, the domain is now slowly but surely changing hands, with the control being handed down to son Damien Livéra and his sister Hélène.
Domaine des Tilleuls takes its name from their house, which was built for Marguerite de Bourgogne in the hills of Gevrey where a long row of lime trees used to grow. The family now tends 8.5 hectares of vines spread over the appellations Burgundy, Côte de Nuits, Fixin, Gevrey-Chambertin and Chapelle-Chambertin.
Damien Livéra has been at the helm of the domain since 2007, and for him, “a huge amount of work is done in the vines to produce healthy grapes”. They are planted at high density, with between 10,000 and 14,000 stocks per hectare. This high density translates into high concentration of the grapes. A great deal of care goes into the vineyards, some of which contain 100-year-old vineyards, for instance the Clos Village. The domain strives to produce the cleanest, healthiest grapes possible. Green harvesting is carried out during veraison if necessary, and the grapes are harvested by hand in small cases, to avoid any damage to the fruit. They have adapted to the warmer years by harvesting early: in 2017, they began on the 9th September to preserve the freshness and vibrancy of the grapes.
In the winery, they aim to intervene as little as possible. After a vatting period of 15 to 20 days, the wines spend three months in stainless-steel vats, before undergoing malo in oak barrels. They mature there for almost a year before spending a further three months in stainless-steel, with very light filtering.
The élevages are relatively short and are done with 40% new oak for the village wines and 80% for La Chapelle. The choice of barrels is paramount at the domain; they work with three different coopers, aiming to find the finest grain possible. In every wine, the family attempts to respect the identity of the parcel as best it can. Les Evocelles is a solar parcel that faces east. En Champs, on the other hand, sits in juxtaposition with Les Champeaux, close to the premiers crus; it is a fleshy wine and delivers a texture that resembles its neighbouring premier cru. They own 1.5 hectares of Le Clos Village, which is the most complete and structured of their range. This flagship parcel has all of the subsoils characteristics of Gevrey, with Baconian outcrops of limestone, alluvial cone of the Combe de Lavaux, which makes it particularly representative area’s terroir.
While the Philippe Livéra name isn’t – yet- well-known among many wine lovers, we’re betting that it won’t be long till these wines become must haves in the region.
What the guides say about Domaine des Tilleuls
This Chardonnay is a wonderful surprise from a talented vinifier of Pinot Noir. A beautiful white wine from a limestone-rich soil, with aromas of stone and grilled sesame. This white Bourgogne has great tension and vibrancy on the palate.
Now this is a typical red Bourgogne! Fresh and digestible yet held together by a good structure, this simple wine is ideal for getting familiar with the joys of the Pinot Noir grape.
This Côte de Nuits villages parcel is currently being reclassified as a Fixin, so as to better showcase the potential quality of the terroir. The little-known appellation spans 5 municipalities in Burgundy: Brochon, Corgoloin, Comblanchien, Prémeaux-Prissey and Fixin. This appellation offers some of the best value for money in the Côte de Nuits.
The domain’s Fixin is matured for 12 months in new barrels (30%), conferring a pleasantly spicy element and silky tannins. This wine would be perfect served with small game.
At the limit of the 1er Cru en Champeaux, this Gevrey-Chambertin village “En Champs” offers superb density, a silky texture and finely spiced notes.
The Livéra family owns 1.5 hectares of the Gevrey-Chambertin villages vineyard that is surrounded by walls. It is made to be cellared; vinified in 40% new oak for 12 months and then 6 months in stainless-steel vats, with neither fining nor filtration. Damien Livéra recommends waiting 5 years before opening.
This grand cru of only 5 hectares is located between Clos-de-Bèze and Chapelle-Chambertin and produces some of the suavest wines in all of Chambertin. Located on the lieu-dit en Gémeaux, the Livéra own only 3,000 square metres of the grand cru, which they mature in 80% new oak from the Rousseau cooper. Only 1,000 bottles are produced.