2018 Bourgogne Aligoté, Marc Colin & Fils
Neal Martin, vinous.com (October 2019)
Julie Sheppard, Decanter (October 2020)
About this WINE
Domaine Marc Colin
Domaine Marc Colin
Marc Colin has now handed over this leading St-Aubin domaine to three of his children, Damien, Joseph and Caroline. The eldest, Pierre-Yves, was involved until 2005 harvest, when he took out his share of the vineyards to be worked separately. The remainder is still a sizeable operation, with 20 hectares spread between 30 appellations, 25 of them for white wines.
The Colin reds come from St-Aubin, Chassagne-Montrachet and Santenay, including a fine vieilles vignes bottling which comes from a plot in Les Champs Claude planted in 1901. This and the Saint-Aubin Les Frionnes are worthy of note, though the Domaine is much better known for its white wines. These include no less than eight bottlings of premier cru St-Aubin plus Puligny- and Chassagne-Montrachet and their associated grands crus.
Bourgogne Rouge is the term used to apply to red wines from Burgundy that fall under the generic Bourgogne AOC, which can be produced by over 350 individual villages across the region. As with Bourgogne Blanc and Bourgogne Rosé, this is a very general appellation and thus is hard to pinpoint any specific characteristics of the wine as a whole, due to the huge variety of wines produced.
Around 4,600 acres of land across Burgundy are used to produce Bourgogne Rouge, which is around twice as much as is dedicated towards the production of generic whites.
Pinot Noir is the primary grape used in Bourgogne Rouge production, although Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and in Yonne, César grapes are all also permitted to make up the rest of the wine. These wines tend to be focused and acidic, with the fruit less cloying than in some New World wines also made from Pinot Noir, and they develop more floral notes as they age.
Although an entry-level wine, some Bourgogne Rouges can be exquisite depending on the area and producer, and yet at a very affordable price.
A grape that was first recorded in Burgundy in the 18th century and is still planted almost exclusively there, though there are limited plantings in Bulgaria, Moldavia and even California. It is a moderate-yielding grape that tends to perform best on south-east facing slopes and in warm, dry years.
For your Burgundian vigneron, Aligoté is not nearly as profitable to grow as Chardonnay - consequently it tends to be relegated to lower quality vineyards. In the wrong hands and in the wrong sites it can produce thin, raspingly acidic wines that are remarkably undistinguished. However the best growers produce balanced examples with nutty and citrus hints which are most appealing to drink. The best Aligoté wines traditionally come from Bouzeron in the Côte Chalonnaise. Along with blackcurrant liqueur, it is the key ingredient of Kir.
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Fermented and raised half in a 30-hectolitre foudre and half in tank, this is a blend of three parcels in Puligny, Chassagne and St Aubin. The vines in Puligny and Chassagne are both over 70 years old, limiting the yield and giving concentration. The nose is complex, with spicy and a slight hazelnut note along with some dried citrus fruit. The palate has a candied lemon and orange profile, rich fruit and a waxy, nutty finish. Drink now to 2024.
Adam Bruntlett, Burgundy Buyer (December 2020)
Burgundy’s white wines are dominated by chardonnay, but aligoté can be an interesting insider’s alternative. Derived from aged vines in Puligny, St Aubin and Chassagne, this is well structured and satisfying, with hints of thyme and citrus.
Will Lyons, Sunday Times (January 2020)
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