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Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Burgundy’s ‘other’ white grape variety, may be very much Chardonnay’s underdog but in a fine year, when ripeness can compensate for its characteristic acidity, Aligoté is not short of champions and is arguably a beneficiary of climate change. It is a member of the pinot (and gouais blanc) family, is therefore a sibling of Chardonnay, and was recorded in Burgundy at the end of the 18th century.

The vine is vigorous and its yield varies enormously according to the vineyard site. If grown on Burgundy’s best slopes on the poorest soils in warmer years, Aligoté could produce fine dry whites with more nerve than most Chardonnays, but it would not be nearly as profitable.