100% Aligote, Bourgogne Blanc from Burgundy France.
2017 Domaine Jean Guiton, Bourgogne Aligoté, Cote d’Or Burgundy, France, 12.5% ABV, $27
This 100% Aligoté wine from a single vineyard in Bligny-Les-Beaune is pretty special. Not familiar with the Aligoté grape or this particular region within Burgundy? Well, LUSH is here to help.
The Aligoté grape has been grown in Bourgogne since the 17th century and Bourgogne Aligoté is even an AOC unto itself since 1937. Aligoté is a wonderful, underappreciated varietal, especially compared to Chardonnay – the main white grape of the region. Genetically, this grape is a member of the same Pinot family along with Chardonnay, but with a brighter level of acidity. Aligoté has been planted alongside its famous cousin for more than 200 years, yet it is relegated to the plateaus and valleys. The varietal itself is quite forgiving from a growing standpoint. It is frost-resistant, early ripening, and quite hardy. When you add this to its ability to produce stunning wines while grown in the chalky and sandy soils, it is truly a grape worthy of more notice. In contrast to Burgundian Chardonnay, which is commonly oaked, Aligoté wines are usually unoaked to maintain their elevated level of acidic freshness.
The famous wine region of Burgundy consists of four distinct subregions: Chablis, Côte d’Or, Côte Chalonnaise and Maconnaise. Côte d’Or (“Golden Slope”) is the most prestigious district in Burgundy and is further divided into two parts: the Côte de Nuit and the Côte de Beaune. Jean Guiton founded his winery in 1973 outside the small commune of Bligny-Les-Beaune. His son Guillaume joined Domaine Jean Guiton in 1998 after graduating from the Lycée Viticole de Beaune and assumed control of the winery in 2009.
This 2017 Domaine Jean Guiton, Bourgogne Aligoté is sourced from a single vineyard in Bligny-Les-Beaune planted in 2003. The soil is loose gravel and sand. Hand-harvested, whole grape clusters are pressed, then fermented in steel tanks for 9-12 daysusing native yeast. Aging is 12 months in tank and 3 months in bottle. Though the vineyards are not certified organic, the entire property is farmed without the use of systemic herbicides or pesticides.
While the wine is not filtered or fined, it shows off a clear golden straw color. The nose is an exhilarating mix of elderflower, dried hay, pineapple, apricot, and a touch of cinnamon. The wine starts out with a lush yet intense mouthfeel of pineapple and orange peel, followed by an acidic middle of puckery tart lemons. This smooths into lemon curd and has a long tropical finish. As one online tech sheet describes, Bourgogne Aligoté is one of the rare wines that does not overpower salads, tabouleh, or steamed vegetables. It is also a worthy companion to traditional local creations like snails with garlic butter. It is a perfect match for grilled fish, and its liveliness and citrus notes stand up well to the saltiness of oysters and strong goat cheese. This one is really fun.