Nicolas Carmarans, Entre Les Eaux 2020Regular price $44.00 Save $-44.00
Variety: Chenin Blanc and Aligote
Aveyron is very well removed in terms of the wine regions of France. A little lesser known, the region is nestled near the mouth of the Loire River, southern Burgundy, and the northern Rhone valley. Actually, the area is better known for its sheep and the bleu d’Auvergne cheese than its vines. The reason why it’s so uninhabited is there was a massive shift of people moving to Paris where it was much easier living than the rugged terrain of southern France. Nicolas Carmarans knows firsthand as his grandfather was one of those people. Nicolas returned to his ancestral village and began growing vines there in 2002. Mauvais Temps is his most prized vineyard due to its abandoned state after the frost of 1956. The woods surrounding the vines create a diversified environment which is vital for the vines. The wines are unusual and beautifully made.
This wine’s name means “Between the Two Tides,” referring to the two rivers straddling the vines here: the Loire and the Saone. The wine brings together the Aligote and Chenin Blanc, from Burgundy and the Loire respectively. He vinifies this wine as if it were a super classic style, and it certainly drinks that way, too.
Paul Pillot, Bourgogne Aligote 2020Regular price $37.00 Save $-37.00
Thierry Pillot is the fourth generation of the Pillot legacy in the legendary Côtes de Beaune of southern Burgundy. Even though the domain began with Thierry’s great grandfather—Jean-Baptist —the domain was named after Paul Pillot—Thierry’s father. Jean-Baptiste was a barrel maker by trade and began focusing on his vines full time in 1900; the estate was born then. Today the estate is run by the energetic Thierry, who spends most of his time in the vineyards, but is a non-interventionist in the cellar with discreet usage of new wood. The family are artists in the cellar when it comes to oak usage; it is very well integrated into the wines. Thierry is one of the finest winemakers in the Côtes de Beaune; if one should come across any of his bottles, don’t hesitate to snatch them up.
Aligote often gets the shaft in the world of Burgundy because Chardonnay is always in the spotlight. The truth is some of the most talented winemakers are making incredible Aligote and you should keep an eye out for them. This particular fruit comes from 45+ year old vines in Chassagne Montrachet and Remigny. While most Aligote would be aged in steel, this one ages in older barrels.
Buisson-Charles, Bourgogne Aligote Sous le Chemin 2020Regular price $38.00 Save $-38.00
Buisson-Charles has been an insider secret for years, though with a bit of international attention, the wines are now in the spotlight. Michel Buisson is the third generation of this winery, now verging on 80 years old and still tending to the vines. His daughter Catherine and her husband, Patrick, have become the faces of the new generation. The domaine’s approach is modest with less new oak usage and production at 35,000 bottles, though the wines themselves are anything but modest. 12 hectares of vines comprise the estate, most of it based in Meursault from very old vines ranging from 65-100 years old. The style of Buisson Charles is classic and restrained; the wines attest to this in volumes.
“Sous Le Chemin” is a vineyard name that means “under the path.” The vines are 45 years old and marked by the style of the village of Meursault. The wine drinks more like the traditional Chardonnay from this village versus the lighter-handed expressions of Aligote. The wine ages for twelve months in barrels and a shorter time in steel before release.
Agnes Paquet, Bourgogne Ali Boit Boit Et Les 40 Buveurs Methode AncestraleRegular price $25.00 Save $-25.00
Making a name for yourself in the wine world is hard no matter where you are based, but being located in Burgundy makes this nearly impossible without a famed family name to back you. Agnes did not have this. What she does have is hard work and a belief in what she is doing. Agnes, year after year, makes elegant and delicate wines with a real sense of place. The wines drink exactly as they should for the level of designation and village they represent.
The name of this fun, natural sparkling means “Alibaba and the forty drinkers.” If that doesn’t sound fun, this Aligote pet-nat will do the trick. The wine is bottled before fermentation ends, giving the wine a hint of sweetness and fizz.
Bernard Defaix, Bourgogne Aligote 2019Regular price $25.00 Save $-25.00
The Defaix family is a fourth generation of a family of vine-growers rich in personality. Bernard Defaix started the vineyard in 1959 with 2 ha. Vineyard holdings across the Chablis region of Burgundy have expanded to 27 ha including three Premier Cru vineyards (Côte de Léchet, Vaillons and Lys) and others in the Chablis and Petit Chablis appellations. Bernard’s sons Sylvain and Didier have been managing the domain for about twenty years, handling winemaking and vineyard operations, respectively. Didier’s wife, Helene, handles administration and sales. Although this is a small property – common in France – the Defaix family undertook an extensive study of their vineyard soils to better understand vine root systems and the impact of mechanized vineyard operations. From 2012, they have been producing organic wines.
Notice this wine does not have the Chablis classification like the other white wines of the Defaix family. This is made from the Aligoté variety, Burgundy's other major white wine grape. The vines are from the Auxerre area of Chablis. It is a fresh and lively style without any oak ageing, but does spend 8 months on its fine lees in stainless steel.
Guilhem et Jean-Hugues Goisot, Bourgogne Aligote 2020Regular price $24.00 Save $-24.00
The Goisot family hails from the small appellation of Saint-Bris, which geographically speaking, is part of Chablis, but was exiled from the appellation after phylloxera. While the history of winemaking in Burgundy dates back centuries, Jean-Hugues Goisot was among Burgundy's earliest fathers of biodynamic viticulture. His son, Guillaume, maintains this rigorous commitment with the family today. The Goisot family knows that in order to be one of the top producers in Burgundy, especially within an appellation that fought long and hard for a share of the spotlight, the wines would need to shine even brighter. They have a firm understanding of the region’s terroir; their wines consistently radiate quality and value.
Aligote is the less popular Burgundy counterpart to Chardonnay, but undeservedly so. Aligote needs less ageing, and is able to be drunk young while many of the regions Chardonnays continue their time in the cellar. This Aligote is aged in stainless steel with a hefty minerality from the clay and fossilized oyster shells below the vines in Saint-Bris.
Victorine de Chastenay, Cremant de Bourgogne NVRegular price $20.00 Save $-20.00
Variety: Pinot Noir, Gamay, Aligote, Chardonnay
A rare Crémant of pedigree made from the rolling hills of the Côte d’Or! A rare combination of incredible quality and exceptional value are found here in this mineral-laced sparkler. Aged 20 months on the less (well over the 12 month minimum for the appellation!), these bubbles are quite complex yet pleasantly fresh.