I first stumbled across the these wines whilst reading Alan Clark’s first set of diaries. There are regular mentions of them being the “house wine” at his rather grand Saltwood Castle home. Clark was obviously a serious wine buff so if it was good enough for him …..
When you think of grapes from burgundy you immediately think of Chardonnay as the predominant white variety and rightly so, but there is a small enclave in a tiny hamlet called St Bris near Auxerre where you can also find Aligote and rather amazingly Sauvignon Blanc. This is where the Goisot family ply their trade.
The Aligote grape is normally found in the french aperitif, Kir. The sirop used to disguise the rather acidic nature of the wine. There must be more to this particular Aligote.
The hunt was on, how could I purchase a case. I scoured the internet and discovered that this wine appears on many top end restaurant wine lists including Gordon Ramsey’s flagship eatery. I eventually tracked some down at www.smilinggrape.com in Cambridgeshire for £9.99 a bottle for the 2006 vintage.
WOW what a taste !
It really was one of those moments, each sip revealed different layers of complexity and flavour, I hadn’t tasted anything like it before. It’s a biodynamic wine made from 50 plus year old vines and boy you can tell .
I managed to secure another case before the price increased to £12.99. That’s a bit toppy for me so always after a bargain I managed to source the 2007 from a merchant near Lyon for 6.80 Euros a bottle. Happy days !
The delivery to the UK however was prohibitively expensive so I arranged for my 2 cases to be delivery to an apartment we were renting near Annecy in Haute Savoie for our summer break. After a nerve-racking 5 days, a battered old white Citroen van puffed and panted its way up the col towards us. My wife tells me that she has never seen me move quite as fast as I did to flag down my precious cargo. We had an early departure the following day so I resisted opening one that evening and instead waiting until the following evening when we were back home in the UK. 762 miles later I had the ice jacket on and looking forward to re-acquainting myself with this wonder wine, but what a disappointment, it was thin and acidic, nothing like the 2006 vintage.
Anyway bang up to date to this weekend. I had managed to buy a case of 2008 from www.slurp.co.uk for £10.40 a bottle. A taste test was in order.
Thankfully 2008 is enjoyable. It is more rounded than 2007 but not a patch on 2006. The 2007 is a little improved but still acidic and vegetal.
So, I am off to bulk buy cassis. If my friends wonder why I have become such a fan of Kir, you know why.