Aligoté

Very interesting-I gather great things are happening at Lachaux now but I remember a case of the 05 Aligote being so very unpleasant in a horrible tinned mango sort of way that it's only the third case of wine I think I have ever returned.
I would be fascinated to see the video of the Auvenay Aligoté vineyard.

Here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLRxokFI9D0

I have to confess, in retrospect I regret that I didn't wear something more respectable than my harvest shorts... Apologies in advance.

And yes, the Lachaux Aligoté has changed: now it's trained to échalas, and its vinified differently. I don't think the site can ever match Sous Châtelet, though.
 
Fascinating, William, and your shorts are very fetching.
I have for many years, admittedly frivolously, wondered whether many of the white vineyards of Burgundy ought to be replanted with Aligoté, and Montrachet and its satellites with Riesling. Chardonnay does not seem well suited to the new warm age, generally speaking. The best producers of course do marvellously but it used to be the case that even mediocre growers could make the real thing and that seems no longer to be true.
 
Fascinating, William, and your shorts are very fetching.
I have for many years, admittedly frivolously, wondered whether many of the white vineyards of Burgundy ought to be replanted with Aligoté, and Montrachet and its satellites with Riesling. Chardonnay does not seem well suited to the new warm age, generally speaking. The best producers of course do marvellously but it used to be the case that even mediocre growers could make the real thing and that seems no longer to be true.

I think what one could call the "varietalization" of white Burgundy is arguably one of the negatives of the AOC system and, later, the emphasis on clonal selections in the last few decades of the 20th century. All the evidence suggests that white Burgundy was historically produced from what were essentially field blends. This isn't just about Aligoté, but Pinot Blanc (a certain notable producer of Meursault has a lot of this, still, as does another in the Mâconnais), too, and who knows what else (there is Melon de Bourgogne growing in the Clos des Lambrays!). If I were planting a Chardonnay vineyard today, I would think about including 10% Pinot Blanc and 10% Aligoté. Pinot Noir, being much more genetically diverse, offers more possibilities without straying from the variety.
 
I recently asked a dozen people working in wine to contribute their discovery of 2020, the single wine which most inspired them in the Covid year, for an article on my site. Christina Rasmussen, who many of you will know, suggested L'Aligator, made by Jean-Yves Vantey (Domaine des Rouges Queues) from a tiny plot at Maranges (just 1,300 bottles made). By all accounts it is rather good.

The Ente (above) brings back memories from what seems almost a previous life to me.
 
I recently asked a dozen people working in wine to contribute their discovery of 2020, the single wine which most inspired them in the Covid year, for an article on my site. Christina Rasmussen, who many of you will know, suggested L'Aligator, made by Jean-Yves Vantey (Domaine des Rouges Queues) from a tiny plot at Maranges (just 1,300 bottles made). By all accounts it is rather good.
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Following your recommendation on WWW I have sourced (sic) a bottle. I'll aim to report back in due course.

Our most recent Aligoté adventure. It weighs in at 11%
  • 2018 La Soufrandière Bourgogne-Aligoté Cuvée Aligato - France, Burgundy, Bourgogne-Aligoté (12/12/2020)
    Deep straw coloured; classic citrus & wet stone; tart, bracing acidity, light yet not underpowered; clean, vigorous finish. Fair length. Unapologetically old-school Aligoté & none the worse for that. Best drunk young. (89 pts.)
Posted from CellarTracker
 
Following your recommendation on WWW I have sourced (sic) a bottle. I'll aim to report back in due course.

Our most recent Aligoté adventure. It weighs in at 11%
  • 2018 La Soufrandière Bourgogne-Aligoté Cuvée Aligato - France, Burgundy, Bourgogne-Aligoté (12/12/2020)
    Deep straw coloured; classic citrus & wet stone; tart, bracing acidity, light yet not underpowered; clean, vigorous finish. Fair length. Unapologetically old-school Aligoté & none the worse for that. Best drunk young. (89 pts.)
Posted from CellarTracker
Christina's rec...just in case :D. I'm guessing the Maranges site may be close for you? As a producer they look very interesting.
 
Christina's rec...just in case :D. I'm guessing the Maranges site may be close for you? As a producer they look very interesting.
They looked an interesting set-up. My suspicion is they have vines adjacent to the defunct railway line. Joint top of my visit list, alongside Chevrot, when allowed back. Keen to try the HCdB.
Despite considerable effort, yet to find a nearby producer of local wines willing to sell direct to me their wine. Fingers crossed.
 
I recently asked a dozen people working in wine to contribute their discovery of 2020, the single wine which most inspired them in the Covid year, for an article on my site. Christina Rasmussen, who many of you will know, suggested L'Aligator, made by Jean-Yves Vantey (Domaine des Rouges Queues) from a tiny plot at Maranges (just 1,300 bottles made). By all accounts it is rather good.

The Ente (above) brings back memories from what seems almost a previous life to me.

They looked an interesting set-up. My suspicion is they have vines adjacent to the defunct railway line. Joint top of my visit list, alongside Chevrot, when allowed back. Keen to try the HCdB.
Despite considerable effort, yet to find a nearby producer of local wines willing to sell direct to me their wine. Fingers crossed.

My note on the 2019 from J-Y and Isabelle Vantey- and Mark, they do do cellar door sales

Light primrose, very perfumed, sensual without losing the Aligoté energy, this is a grape which thrives on the no/low sulphur approach. Long and charming, a little waxiness to round at the finish. Super length. Act quickly as only 1,000 bottles were made from their small holding.
 
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2018 Charles Lachaux, Aligoté Les Champs d'Argent according to Becky Wasserman this is from a 0.60ha plot in the commune of Vosne-Romanée, bottom of the slope with very white, marly soils. Farmed biodynamically and vinified with whole clusters indigenous yeasts, aged 12 months in barrel no new oak, unfined and unfiltered with no added sulphur.

How was it? Hint of lemon, grapefruit, and seaweed on the nose although I did pick up strange whiff of ham. Fresh and persistent on the palette, no fruit, perhaps lacking in acidity, still quite delicious although very savoury.

Overall? Interesting, very well made with attention to detail, not convinced it will really improve with bottle age, still pleasant enough.
 
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Nice colour. The Arnoux Aligote used to represent the grape at its worst!

Thanks and how does the colour compare to PYCM? I would love to try them side by side and may see if John Arnold has any single bottles of the 2018 for a side-by-side, although I am not sure if I like the style enough to ask JOhn for a case of 6 in future vintages. Despite not being convinced regarding age worthiness, I will leave the remainder at least 12 to 18 months and see if that makes any difference. I understand that you have experience of the PYCM version and wonder how you find that, and does it improve with age? Feel free to direct me to any W-P post that I have missed. Thanks.
 
Very similar colour. I haven't tried PYCM at more than six years old but it goes that distance effortlessly though I wouldn't make a big effort to do it on purpose. It offers correctness rather than extreme sensual gratification; as I get older I find correctness extremely important ,and indeed sensually gratifying.
 
@Thom Blach interesting you should say that as last night I had an opportunity to alternate between a 2017 Chablis (Droin) my wife was drinking and the Aligote, and it was obvious that the former was delivering the gratification "hit" whilst the latter was pretty austere and very correct.
 
I had this d’Auvenay Aligoté the other week and simply couldn’t believe it was Aligoté. Admittedly it was young and the matchstick reduction was intense which would mask the Aligoté grape profile but I found this to be so good.
If I was blinded, I would never guess this was an Aligoté at all. Simply superb.
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Sean,

This d’auvenay aligote bears almost no relation to any other aligote in my experience. It is simply hors categorie. At the aligote dinner we did at The Square several years ago, Tom famously described it as disgraceful before immediately asking for another glass. Sadly, the price has ascended to stratospheric levels along with the rest of Lalou’s wines.

Dan
 
Day 2 update on the Charles Lachaux 2018

Much better - it is as if it has opened its broad shoulders- so much more inviting- funnily enough I can feel a line of acidity going through the wine that simply wasn't there on Day 1. Note to self to allow remainder to gain some bottle age and consider decanting. I like this now.
 
Sean,

This d’auvenay aligote bears almost no relation to any other aligote in my experience. It is simply hors categorie. At the aligote dinner we did at The Square several years ago, Tom famously described it as disgraceful before immediately asking for another glass. Sadly, the price has ascended to stratospheric levels along with the rest of Lalou’s wines.

Dan

Dan,

Yes of course. We never thought it should be called an Aligote as it doesn’t taste at all of one.
Shame the price is punchy on the secondary market. Everybody should be able to try at least one glass to see what d’Auvenay is all about.
 
2016 Bourgogne Aligote Ramonet: Quite unfriendly at first, unusually thin even for Aligote (in my experience). Lacked any real character, with the only thing registering being a harsh finish.

However given around an hour of air it really began to take form, the body filled out with lovely soft fruit, but still possessing enough acidity to keep everything in check, and that previously harsh finish fell perfectly into place as a palate cleanser.

Hard to say what I'd attribute it to, however I did notice some wine leapt out the bottle upon opening and after checking another I noticed there wasn't much in terms of headroom between the wine and the cork. That and being closed with nomacorc, the behaviour of which I have little conscious experience of.
 
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