Classic aromas of Aligote: Lemon, White Peach and Yellow Nectarine
Aligote has long been the white grape of Burgundy in France – long before Chardonnay came into the picture. It was first noted in print in 1780, and most famously in an 1807 document promoting the pulling out of Aligote to replace it with Chardonnay. This is not to say that Aligote isn’t a grape worthy of producing top white wines but rather a time of fashion for Chardonnay – which is a much higher yielding grape varietal in comparison.
France, once the home to all of the world’s Aligote, has a mere 1,946ha. The majority is still allowed to be planted in the Burgundy region but must be made as a single varietal wine and is not allowed on any of the top sites: Premier or Grand Cru vineyards.
In fact Aligote is most widely planted in eastern Europe. Ukraine has 9,265ha, Romania 7,203ha and Moldova with 15,790ha. There are also a few proponents of Aligote in California and Washington states.
Top wines made of Aligote showcase the varietals high acidity and nervy flavours. You will often find white stone-fruits like peach and nectarine met with lemon pith and pear flavours. Sadly all too often it is neutral and bland.