2019 Domaine Lafouge Aligote
Burgundy has all kinds of rules, laws and traditions that make it a complex place to go shopping for wine. In addition, every rule has its exception; everything you learn about Burgundy you will eventually learn that there’s someone out there who does it differently. And of course, this being France, everyone you talk to is going to have a different explanation for the exception.
Which brings us to Aligote, a white grape type that is also grown in Burgundy, in addition to the ubiquitous Chardonnay.
Why is Aligote (ah-lee-go-TAY [although I’ve heard it about 50 different other ways) also raised? We’ll, I used to think for a couple of no good darn reasons – it crops heavy and during the industrialized 1950s, it could handle a lot of potent chemicals. At the time the reestablishment of agriculture (and making a living from it) was of utmost importance. Frankly, in my own drinking experience, I shunted it aside in favor of Chardonnay.
But then, I tasted Domaine Lafouge’s Aligote – our wine on special today. It is amazing. I get to taste (and drink) allot of good wine, and I just can’t stop pounding this one:
On the nose and palate there is outstanding freshness – think of its close cousin Chablis, and you’ve got the answer. Asian pear, kaffir lime leaf, a beautiful under-ripe white peach with a touch of lemon grass are all across the nose and palate. The flavors on the palate are candied lemon, orchard fruits yet with a calcaire drive, perfectly pitched focus and a long mineral core. Gorgeous to drink now, so don’t hesitate at all. Gilles Lafouge, the wine maker, recommended it with sushi or crudo and you know what – he’s darn right. The limestone tension throughout makes it a gorgeous apertif but with light fare it’s a perfect match as well. “Light fare” doesn’t mean the food should be simple, nor that the wine is simple. It’s just that the gorgeous sprightliness of this wine shines, and its joy should be covered up!
Oh, the other thing about Aligote – its always less expensive than the other white burgundy. Usually, I’d say with good reason. But with this Domaine Lafouge, well, heck, its just a stunning deal.