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2020 Bourgogne Aligoté

Domaine Taupenot-Merme
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Aligoté has long been dismissed as Burgundy’s other white grape. No one thinks “Aligoté” when they hear “white Burgundy,” and that’s no coincidence. In 1937, the powers that be in France restricted Aligoté grown in the Côte d’Or to the generic Bourgogne Aligoté appellation, leaving more prestigious village designations for the region’s golden child, Chardonnay, and its red counterpart, Pinot Noir. As a result, Burgundian vignerons largely turned away from Aligoté, planting it solely in lesser vineyard sites with an emphasis on quantity over quality. That’s all started to change in recent years, however, as open-minded vignerons such as Romain Taupenot are breathing new life into this underdog grape variety.
    Romain’s family has been making wine in Burgundy since the 17th century, and he’s the 9th generation to take the helm of the estate. He takes a hands-off approach in the cellar, sometimes referring to himself as a “lazy winemaker.” Rather, he prefers to get his hands dirty working diligently in the vineyards, letting the fruits of his labor to evolve naturally so the wines can speak for themselves. The stellar terroir—Romain’s Aligoté parcels are in Morey-Saint-Denis and Auxey-Duresses— in combination with his gentle hand in the cellar result in an approachable, elegant, and complex wine that would give many “white Burgundies”a run for their money. A bouquet of orchard blossoms and buttery brioche opens to lemon curd and almond notes on the palate, finishing with a pleasant creaminess backed by chiseled acidity.

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Technical Information
Wine Type: white
Vintage: 2020
Bottle Size: 750mL
Blend: Aligoté
Appellation: Bourgogne
Country: France
Region: Burgundy
Producer: Domaine Taupenot-Merme
Winemaker: Romain Taupenot
Vineyard: 1 ha, Planted in 1950, 1986
Soil: Clay, Limestone
Farming: Organic (practicing)
Alcohol: 13%

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About The Region

Burgundy

map of Burgundy

In eastern central France, Burgundy is nestled between the wine regions of Champagne to the north, the Jura to the east, the Loire to the west, and the Rhône to the south. This is the terroir par excellence for producing world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

The southeast-facing hillside between Dijon in the north and Maranges in the south is known as the Côte d’Or or “golden slope.” The Côte d’Or comprises two main sections, both composed of limestone and clay soils: the Côte de Nuits in the northern sector, and the Côte de Beaune in the south. Both areas produce magnificent whites and reds, although the Côte de Beaune produces more white wine and the Côte de Nuits more red.

Chablis is Burgundy’s northern outpost, known for its flinty and age-worthy Chardonnays planted in Kimmeridgian limestone on an ancient seabed. Vézelay is a smaller area south of Chablis with similar qualities, although the limestone there is not Kimmeridgian.

To the south of the Côte de Beaune, the Côte Chalonnaise extends from Chagny on its northern end, down past Chalon-sur-Saône and encompasses the appellations of Bouzeron in the north, followed by Rully, Mercurey, Givry, and Montagny.

Directly south of the Chalonnaise begins the Côte Mâconnais, which extends south past Mâcon to the hamlets of Fuissé, Vinzelles, Chaintré, and Saint-Véran. The Mâconnais is prime Chardonnay country and contains an incredible diversity of soils.

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Terroirs

Great winemakers, great terroirs, there is never any hurry. And I no longer buy into this idea of “peak” maturity. Great winemakers, great terroirs, their wines offer different pleasures at different ages.

Inspiring Thirst, page 312

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