Domaine Ramonet Bouzeron 2012

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It is surprising the near forgotten about Aligoté has survived. Though it was once blended into white Burgundy, today it is not known as a noble variety. It grows in a region that makes the world’s best Chardonnay. Its overall plantings reflect that status (1,700 ha vs. 12,800+ ha of Chardonnay according to Oz Clarke). No serious vineyards that are suitable for Burgundy’s two main grapes contain Aligote anymore. Most of it finds its way into Crémant de Bourgogne.

That said, the grape has seen a bit of a resurgence in the last decade with top producers making delicious, early drinking single-variety bottlings that are great emblems of house-style without the price tag. We’re talking serious domaines such as Coche-Dury, Arnaud Ente, Tollot-Beaut, de Villaine, and Ramonet.

Oaked Aligoté

Aligoté is a high acid variety. It generally is not complex. In the Cote d’Or it is relegated to plains or hilltops, though there are a few old-vine sources that go into the best bottlings of Bourgogne Aligoté. In the Cote Chalonnaise (which is the region that lies south of the Cote d’Or but north of the Maconnais), there are several vineyards well suited to it. The most famous of these vineyards is Bouzeron.

Though Oz Clarke claims the variety does poorly in oak, Ramonet, famous of course for its show-stopping premier and grand cru Chardonnays from Chassagne-Montrachet, proves him wrong. This Aligoté sees vinification in both tank and oak, malo-lactic fermentation, as well as lees stirring. All this cellar work produces a very rich wine with almond and honey notes. The treatment works because the underlying material is saline, minerally, high acid and long.

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It’s an extremely delicious wine and at a price that is shockingly low for a domaine that makes wine Clive Coates once described as, “Ramonet in white is the equivalent of Henri Jayer or the DRC in red.” It is a true example of the Ramonet style with its own unique twist.

This wine is very friendly with seafood.

Very Good+ and Highly Recommended Value
Consumed via the list at Hawksworth
$40 + tax hospitality (try private stores such as Kits Wine and Marquis)

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