Bourgogne Aligoté, France
Alc. 12.5 %
When a region becomes synonymous with a single grape variety, any other permitted grapes are often overlooked or downright ignored. But who doesn't love a good underdog story? In the case of Burgundy's white wines, Chardonnay is the undisputed star, but plucky Aligoté definitely deserves more attention. It's probably best known as the base for a Kir cocktail, but we think it's fantastic on its own! Discovered to be a member of the larger Pinot family of grapes, records show that Aligoté has been cultivated in Burgundy since at least the late 1700s. This bottling from Laurent Dufouleur showcases the grape's bright citrus and orchard fruit aromas and vibrant acidity.
The Tramier branch of the storied Dufouleur family founded this winery in Mercurey, in the heart of Burgundy, in 1842. Their wines are still produced in the winery's original buildings and aged in cellars built directly into the rock face dating back to 1830. While they focus primarily on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, they grow and bottle a small amount of Aligoté, and we were able to get our hands on the latest release. Enjoy at a well-chilled 10 C, now or over the next 3-5 years.
Aromas of freshly-sliced green apple, crunchy pear and meyer lemon leap out of the glass, backed by a faint hint of savoury herbs and wet stone. The fruit is the star, though, and as the wine warms up a bit in the glass, riper notes of peach and red apple emerge.
Like most Aligoté, this wine is bone dry, light, fresh, and packed with flavour. There's more citrus notes on the palate - fresh lemon is the star - along with crunchy granny smith apple and white pear. The acidity runs throughout, but it's well-balanced and never overpowers the bright fruit. There's a hint of wet stone to add mineral complexity, and it finishes dry and bright, inviting another sip or another glass!
Opt for fresh seafood or shellfish with this vibrant white - seasonal oysters with a bright mignonette would be perfect. Use the wine's natural acidity as a counterpoint to salty fried chicken, or to cut the richness of pasta in cream sauce.
VQA Niagara Peninsula, Ontario
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