Say yay for Aligoté! WBW 39

mikulski.jpgWhen the dollar heads south, so do Burgundy fans. Neil has organized us to head south to the Côte Chalonnaise or the Mâconnais, which he politely calls “silver Burgundy,” for this Wine Blogging Wednesday.

That gave me a chance to try the excellent Domaine Francois Mikulski Aligoté 2005 (about $17, find this wine). This grape, Chardonnay’s poor cousin in the area, has traditionally had crème de cassis dumped all over it in the regional aperitif, Kir (but hey, its not such a bad fate since the Kir Royale reserves that place for Champagne.)

This Aligote has an extremely alluring flavor profile that resembles a cross between the zip of sauvignon blanc and the stony minerality of a Chablis. I poured it for one of my classes at NYU and people were flipping for it. I think sales of Aligoté just tripled.

BREAKING: Turns out that this Mikulski Bourgogne Aligoté is from Meursault in the Cotes de Beaune. Oops! Well, it is still “silver” insofar as it is not Chardonnay. If Neil is being literal, then I recently enjoyed the Génot-Boulanger 2005 Mercurey 1er Cru Les Saumonts (find this wine) for $23. It had pretty red berry fruit with good acidity and a dollop of Burgundian terroir. A good way to play the ridiculously priced 2005 vintage in Burgundy.

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7 Responses to “Say yay for Aligoté! WBW 39”

  1. Hey Tyler – thanks for participating. Regardless of where it’s from, sounds like a great bottle for $17. People in a class flipping over it, when there are many other wines to taste too is a good indication of quality, to me. You know, I had the same red Mercurey you wrote about and I found it to be so tight and tannic that i just couldn’t figure out anything else about the wine. Maybe i had a bad bottle. Did you think yours would age or was it drinking perfectly at that moment? thanks again – neil

  2. de Villaine’s estate in Bouzeron is making some great Aligote (and Chardonnay), if you’re looking for a “Silver”…Nice to hear the class flipping over it – I served a Bouzeron recently, not knowing it was Aligote, and everyone loved it. Cheers!

  3. Hey Neil –
    Yes it was tannic and tight but I found opened up with some air. I’ll check the list of wines in your roundup and see if I could taste it alongside some others for the regional comparison.

    Joe- Yay, more Aligote! Is it the new, trendy white grape?!?

  4. Howdy Tyler,
    I’m not holding my breath in anticipation of Aligoté becoming trendy but there are some damn good examples floating around out there. I had the opportunity to write-up one from Domaine Michèle & Patrice Rion not long ago as part of my series on Exploring Burgundy.

  5. This sure sounds like a winner to me. I love Kermit Lynch’s story when he told Aubert de Villaine that “with his Aligote I would have the ingredients for a fine Kir… His expression turned as sour as a bad Aligote. It would be unfortunate, he informed me politely through clenched teeth, to obscure the quality of his Aligote by pouring creme de cassis into it. Oops.”

  6. David –

    I’ve enjoyed Rion reds in the past and will look out for this Aligote. Moore Bros?

    Wicker Parker –
    Nice to remember that quote!

  7. Patrice Rion’s Aligote is occasionally available at one or the other of Moore Brothers’ locations but appears to be out of stock at all three. It’s made in pretty minute quantities.


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