Aligoté


Australian Aligoté wine regional and flavour profile

 

Aligoté tastes and aromas

Apple and lemon with a nutty tang.

Aligoté mouthfeel

High acidity and minerality, medium bodied.

Facts about Aligoté

  • Aligoté is the straw-coloured, tart, and softly scented “other” white wine of Burgundy, and because the grape tolerates cold weather, it’s often planted in marginal vineyard sites above and below the more precious chardonnay.
  • In Russia, Aligoté it is favoured as the variety used to make sparkling wines. As a blending variety Aligoté adds acidity and structure to other varieties, particularly Chardonnay.
  • It was the 22nd most planted vine variety in the world in 2004.
  • The wine was first recorded in Burgundy in the 18th century, and DNA profiling has shown it to be a member of the Pinot Noir family and an ancestral grape of eastern France known as Gouais Blanc. As the vine is hardier than chardonnay, it can withstand cooler growing conditions. It flowers earlier and ripens faster, and it is often planted in higher altitudes and less sunny locations. In this way it is much like Dolcetto in Italy’s Piedmont region.
  • The grape is the second most popular white grape variety grown in Burgundy after Chardonnay.
  • As is often the case with these earlier ripeners, Aligoté wines tend to show high acidities and minerality as opposed to a ton of fruit. The variety isn’t immensely popular, likely due to the fact that often grape growers have pushed the vines to yield too many grapes, which produce wines that have little depth.

Australian regions that produce Aligoté

Aligoté it has limited traction in Australia, and currently there is only a single Australian producer using Aligoté- Mornington Peninsula’s Hickinbotham, who use 15% of Aligoté in a blend with Chardonnay to add body and nuttiness.

Aligoté is most commonly grown in the Burgundy region of France, and also has significant plantings in much of Eastern Europe including Romania, Bulgaria, Russia, and Ukraine.

Aligoté wine and food pairings

Aligoté on its own can be a fine contrast to foods that are rich, salty, oily, or fatty, such as roast duck. Also, because of its minerality, it pairs incredibly well with lighter seafood, such as oysters, shrimp or squid.

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