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Au Bon Climat

2014 Aligoté Le Bon Climat
Wine Specs
Santa Maria Valley
Alcohol %

2014 Aligoté Le Bon Climat

Clendenen Family - SMV

With flavors of fresh pear, lemon curd and hazelnuts, this is a delightful, elegant food wine. Its mouth-watering, firm acidity meshes with the steely/mineral character and rich texture, making it a natural with shellfish.

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Aligoté is thought of as Burgundy’s ‘other white variety’.  It is overshadowed by the much more popular Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These more profitable varieties get the best vineyard sights and Aligoté is planted in the lesser areas. The maturation of Aligoté in Burgundy is inconsistent and slow, due to being planted in poorer vineyard sections. Burgundian Aligoté is tart and neutral. Mixing this wine with crème de cassis makes it palatable, and the "cocktail" has become a popular aperitif.

Our Aligoté is grown at Le Bon Climat Vineyard, next to our high end grapes. In the Santa Maria Valley we usually have nice ripening weather extending into early November. This long growing season is eight weeks longer than the growing season in Burgundy meaning a more expressive wine. Consequently, Le Bon Climat Vineyard Aligoté bears little resemblance to Burgundian Aligoté.

Aligoté goes through the same “hands-on” process as all other white wines made at Au Bon Climat /Clendenen Family Vineyards. The grapes are handpicked and hand sorted in the vineyard, then whole-cluster pressed and settled for two days. The longer term settling eliminates some of the more lessy characters in the finished wines by minimizing the solids in the barrels during the primary and malo-lactic fermentations. It is aged in older, neutral Francois Frères cooperage for 10 months, and then bottled after a light fining and filtration.

The aromas are fresh pear and lavender with a saline background. There is tartness to this wine, like the Burgundian version of Aligoté, but his wine has so much more. This tartness meshes with the steely/mineral aspect of this wine to make this a perfect match with seafood. A bottle of Aligoté, a plate of garlicky clams and an ocean view sounds like a perfect match.

Product Reviews
Claire Fahey's Gravatar
Claire Fahey
1 1 1 1 1
(Jan 31, 2017 at 3:49 PM)
I'm a lover of classic chardonnay, which is hard to find these days. I stumbled upon Aligote while in your tasting room, and it was like tasting a long-lost cousin of my favorite chardonnay. I had never heard of the grape, and I am thrilled that Au Bon Climat uncovered this gem, cultivated it and brought such a lovely wine to the table. I will be reordering. Frequently.

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