White, Ready, but will improve

2013 Bourgogne Blanc, Guy Roulot

2013 Bourgogne Blanc, Guy Roulot

White | Ready, but will improve | Domaine Guy Roulot | Code: 35923 | 2013 | France > Burgundy > Bourgogne > Bourgogne Aligote | Chardonnay | Medium Bodied, Dry | 12.0 % alcohol

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The Producer

Domaine Guy Roulot

Domaine Guy Roulot

Jean-Marc Roulot has been in charge since 1989, when he decided to stay with the vines rather than to pursue a full time career as an actor on stage and film, subsequently bringing a fine domaine up into the very top league. He is one of the few producers who has managed to move from heavier to purer wines without losing anything of the wine’s potential quality and complexity. Everything is still in place, both the greater pull of fabulous white Burgundy and the more detailed intricacies of the subtle differences between one terroir and another.
 
The wines are built, not in the sense of any artificial construction, but by the weaving of layers one upon another. These are exceptional Meursaults which show their real class at 10 years old. The vineyards have been farmed organically since 1999, with some experiments in biodynamics - all is in place for first class raw material and Jean-Marc is not afraid to pick early if the condition of the grapes suggests it. Where the skins of the grapes are healthy, Jean-Marc likes to crush them before pressing, which he finds gives a greener juice with a degree more acidity but without changing the pH of the wine. The barrels fulfil their role of aerating the wine, with no more than 20% new wood for village wines and 25-30% for the crus.

Jasper Morris MW, Burgundy Wine Director and author of the award-winning Inside Burgundy comprehensive handbook.

The Grape

Chardonnay

Chardonnay

Chardonnay is the "Big Daddy" of white wine grapes and one of the most widely planted in the world. It is suited to a wide variety of soils, though it excels in soils with a high limestone content as found in Champagne, Chablis, and the Côte D`Or.

Burgundy is Chardonnay's spiritual home and the best White Burgundies are dry, rich, honeyed wines with marvellous poise, elegance and balance. They are unquestionably the finest dry white wines in the world. Chardonnay plays a crucial role in the Champagne blend, providing structure and finesse, and is the sole grape in Blanc de Blancs.

It is quantitatively important in California and Australia, is widely planted in Chile and South Africa, and is the second most widely planted grape in New Zealand. In warm climates Chardonnay has a tendency to develop very high sugar levels during the final stages of ripening and this can occur at the expense of acidity. Late picking is a common problem and can result in blowsy and flabby wines that lack structure and definition.

Recently in the New World, we have seen a move towards more elegant, better- balanced and less oak-driven Chardonnays, and this is to be welcomed.

The Region

Bourgogne Aligote


Bourgogne Aligoté is a regional Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) for white wines produced in Burgundy from the Aligoté variety of grape, which dates from 1937.

Aligoté grapes have played a prominent role in white Burgundy production since the 1600s, but are now being phased out in favour of the more popular and profitable Chardonnay grape: in 2007 only 1,700 hectares (4,200 acres) of Aligoté were grown compared to the 12,800 hectares (32,000 acres) of Chardonnay. The AOC regulations permit up to 15% Chardonnay to be blended with the Aligoté.

Bourgogne Aligoté is usually regarded as a somewhat more acidic wine, best enjoyed in its youth due to its lighter nature. It is also a primary component in the production of the popular French cocktail kir, by combining the Aligoté wine with the blackcurrant liqueur crème de cassis.

Aligoté has one appellation exclusive to its grape: Bouzeron, in the Côte Chalonnaise region of Burgundy, where 53 hectares are dedicated to this unique Aligoté based wine.

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