Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Two "Chardonnays"?

For a roast chicken dinner I thought some chardonnays would work well, so I brought out a pricey Chilean chardonnay and a wine from Bourgogne. All white Burgundy is chardonnay, right? Well, some of you have already noticed that the label above clearly says "Bouzeron". I learned something new today - in Bouzeron, a Burgundy appellation, the wines are made from "Aligoté"... This was rather embarrassing for Joe (trying to impress his in-laws), but it was an enjoyable wine nonetheless.

On the nose the gold-hued 2005 A et P de Villaine Bouzeron was rather earthy and mushroomy at first, very subtle, reluctantly revealing some Granny Smith apple, white grapefruit, lemon peel, fresh cut grass, petrol and "wet bark", but not as complex as the chardonnay below. This was a beautiful white on the palate, very crisp with bitter lemon and nice mineraliness, I wrote WOW. This could probably age, but is very nice now. Quote - "This tastes like I am eating the grapes right off the vine". A better match for the salad, but perhaps not as good a pairing with the poultry. For what it's worth, this bottle disappeared first.
cork. 12.5% alcohol
Score: 18/20
Price: $23.85 (SAQ)

The 2005 Casa Lapostolle Cuvee Alexandre Chardonnay comes from the Casablanca Valley, and is Casa Lapostolle's top cuvee. Shiny gold in the glass, the nose started out all bananas, lemon and butter, also showing some smoke and nearly-burnt toast. Rich and lemony on the palate, with nice acidity and some bitter mineraliness, it was more thick and juicy than the Bouzeron. This was a very nice "New World" styled chardonnay, and a better match for the dinner.
cork. 14.5% alcohol
Score: 17.5/20
Price: $33 (LCBO)

So there you have it - Joe drank Aligoté thinking it was chardonnay. My suggestion, check out Bouzeron - a different take on white Burgundy, and a notch above Bourgogne Aligote.



RougeAndBlanc said...

I like Aligoté too. With the crazy price of '05 Bourgognes, Aligoté maybe the way to go.
On the other hand, if the Aligoté you bought is not up to par, you can always make it into Kir, but would you do that to a Chardonnay that underperforms?

Anonymous said...

This happens to lots of people. The Bouzeron appellation was created basically for Aligote. Glad it turned out to be a good wine anyway.

Marcus said...

This is more than a good wine! You gave this Aligoté your highest rating ever! Isn't that the bigger scoop on Joe's Wine today?

That said, I've only had Aligoté twice and the first one reminded me of Pinot Blanc; the second one of Sauvignon... BUT NEVER A CHARDONNAY!!! EVER!!!

Anyway, hope the divorce goes smoothly.

Joe said...

R&B: I never knew that I liked Aligoté, I do know that I love A et P de Villaine (check out my Pinot Noir review) - fantastic wines. Not sure I am ready for kir...
Brooklyn: Very embarassing, and I can honestly say it was my first Aligoté. I wasn't worried with de Villaine on the label!
Marcus: I was wondering when someone would notice the scandal - 18 points - tied for my highest rated white - Aligoté?! I am certainly questioning my tasting abilities! I tried to lower the score, but I couldn't...please, somebody, try this wine and tell me I am not going crazy!

2GrandCru said...

18 isn't that big a score for a wine made by the owner of Romanee-Conti...

I liked the Villaine Bouzeron a lot, too. Though your bottle sounds way more open than the one I had. My take on it, actually, was any wine that takes three hours to open (well, as much as it did open that night) is special. Anyway, Villaine put Bouzeron on the map and the domaine treat it as their flagship wine.

Joe said...

Hi 2GrandCru. Yes, de Villaine is working some magic at his own property. My bottle was also a bit closed at first and took time to open up (almost all of my notes follow a wine through dinner and beyond). But when it did...as you said, special. I just bought seven more bottles (on sale today) - de Villaine's wines always sell out quickly in Montreal. I also have a bottle of his "Les Clous", the subject for a future post. Thanks for your comments, Cheers!