- WinemakerÉric Guyard
- Farming MethodOrganic Practices
Domaine du Vieux College Bourgogne Aligote 2020
Located on the commune of Marsannay La Cote, the golden gateway of the Cote de Nuits, you’ll find Domaine de Vieux College. They do a bit of everything at their estate – from traditional chardonnay and pinot noir, to more esoteric offerings like Marsannay rosé, a Crémant de Bourgogne, and this aligoté (pronounced “al-uh-GO-tay”). A natural cross between pinot noir and the seldom-seen gouais blanc, aligoté was first identified in Burgundy during the 18th century. Particularly well-suited to cold, today the grape has flourished in Eastern Europe and even Russia – with Bulgaria planting over double the amount of aligoté found today in France.
The Vieux College vineyards are fully organic, and raised without the use of any pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. Organic copper sulfate will be used only to combat mildew, and only as needed. This aligoté is grown on a 2.5 hectare plot with 30-year-old vines. While old vines are ideal for many varietals, they are considered to be especially important for aligoté, as the old vine grapes have a tendency for more weight, mouthfeel and textural complexity – a necessary balancing agent for the grape’s high acidity. The grapes are traditionally fermented, with aging in large, neutral oak vats for 4-6 months prior to bottling.
The wine does not easily lend itself to description or comparison...hence the “geek factor”. Reminiscent of viognier’s floral and red apple aromas, with Chablis’ lemony-ness, picpoul’s quenching acidity, and savagnin’s waxy, wooly texture...this wine pulls your brain and your palate in so many fun and interesting directions simultaneously. The experience is truly unique and decidedly pleasing – certainly a wine meant to be enjoyed in company and discussed with a carefree frivolity. This is a delicious example of a wine that will change the way you think about wine…how many other UNDER $20 bottles can say that?!?
PAIRING IDEAS: High acid, rich texture, uniquely sharp...this wine wants some proper, God Save the Queen, pub-style fish and chips! Malt vinegar and tartar sauce on the side, of course.
MUSIC SUGGESTIONS: Keeping things across the pond, this wine seems the perfect match for the quirky, pop-y and catchy Fab Four... Here’s The Beatles with “8 Days a Week”.