Restless in the Midst of High Status
Celebrations are under way in New York for La Paulée. From beverage directors to Master sommeliers, the who’s who of the wine business are in attendance of what could only be referred to as the most opulent BYOB party in town. Roumier, Méo-Camuzet, and Roulot are just a few of the names being acknowledged and shared. Verticals, and other themed comparisons of Grand Cru sites such as Richebourg, Montrachet, and Chambertin are being discussed and honored. In keeping with this weeks Burgundian festivities, I have decided to share my enthusiasm about Aligoté, Burgundy’s other difficult white grape.
There are no Meursaults or Montrachets for Aligoté, just a basic Bourgogne Aligoté. The village of Bouzeron in the Côte Chalonnaise is considered to be one of the regions finest examples of the variety. Research suggests that Aligoté is a cross between Pinot Noir and Gouais Blanc. Also grown abundantly in Eastern Europe and generally prized for its acidity, this sibling to Chardonnay lacks cachet for aficionados, and is a grape that needs a lot of work. I have had a beautiul relationship with it over the years and have been lucky to taste some of the greats including Roulot and De Moor.
Mind you, this is not a sales pitch. On the contrary I am worried that after I am done introducing the next wine, our tiny allocation will deplete rather quickly. Domaine Rollin Père et Fils make substantial and gorgeous wine in the Côte de Beaune. A twelve hectare Domaine which is spread over the communes of Pernand Vergelesses, Savigny les Beaune, Echevronne, Aloxe-Corton, and Chorey les Beaune. At Rollin it is all about terroir, people who do the bare minimum in the cellar, in order to express the identity of the parcels. In the cellar, the winemaking is natural and traditional, and void of any flash. Their whites have zip that you would find in a Formula One car. At the helm of this operation is Remi Rollin, a third generation vigneron who is joined by his son Simon.
2013 Bourgogne Aligoté is absolutely stunning. Raised in steel tanks, this rendering of old vines from just outside Pernand is fleshy and full of zip with quince and nectarous fruit on the nose. Bitter citrus and chalk minerals on the palate marks another successful vintage for this so called step-child of Burgundy.