Ah! The days are getting longer and the evenings are getting warmer. I’m in the mood for a white tonight, so let’s try an Aligoté. This is a grape grown in the Burgundy region of France, in limited amounts. There are also some small amounts of it planted in Eastern Europe and California, and in Oregon. Bourgogne Aligoté is a light white wine. Winemakers are allowed to add up to 15% of Chardonnay grapes. The production of Bourgogne Aligoté is decreasing years over years as people are going after more fashinable whites.
This 2004 Aligoté is light and sweet/dry with a hint of …lemon? Local restaurants serve this wine with the traditional dish of steamed mussels and french fries (so delicious) and it is a perfect wine to enjoy with a seafood salad on a balmy summer evening. Like a sparkling wine without the bubbles. The “robe” or color is clear and the aroma is very summery. It is a wine meant to be enjoyed when still young as it doesn’t age well. Best served at 8-10 degrees centigrade (about 45-50 F). The Bourgogne Aligoté, associated with the crème de cassis from Dijon, constitutes the authentic ” Kir “. Any other wine is now truly entitled to this qualification, only to be called a ” blanc-cassis “.
If you are serving shellfish, you could pour an aligoté and tell the story of this lesser known grape for a conversation starter?
I give it a rating of a wink and a smile 😉 🙂
Here is the entry at www.epicurious.com wine dictionary:
White wine grape that is widely cultivated in and around BURGUNDY. It’s considered less important and distinguished than the CHARDONNAY grape, and, in most cases, wines developed from the Aligoté are not as rich or long-lived as those from Chardonnay. Older Aligoté vines have been known to produce some very nice wines, which often exhibit citrusy and, occasionally, nutty characteristics. Burgundian wines made from this grape are labeled BOURGOGNE ALIGOTÉ AC or, when they come from the village of Bourzeron in the COTE CHALONNAISE, BOURGOGNE ALIGOTÉ DE BOURZERON AC. The Aligoté grape is losing out to Chardonnay, and vineyard plantings have been reduced in the last 15 years. However, it remains popular in some eastern European countries including Bulgaria and Rumania. The Aligoté grape is also called Blanc de Troyes, Chaudenet Gris, and Plant Gris.