2016 Marc Colin Santenay Rouge ‘Champs Claude,’ Burgundy, France (750 ml)

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In addition to Chardonnay, Marc Colin also produces a little Bourgogne Aligoté. Aligoté is the only other white varietal allowed in Burgundy besides Sauvignon Blanc in the unique appellation of Saint-Bris. It is used traditionally in France as the white wine for a Kir, which is a pinkish-light red drink made with the addition of crème de cassis. Without the sweetness of that liqueur, Aligoté on its own typically produces a leaner, lighter, much less serious and more approachable-upon-release wine than the great Chardonnay based white Burgundies. It was Marc’s father, Pierre, who first planted Aligoté in the Puligny-Montrachet lieu-dit of ‘La Combe’ in 1946. Today, his grandsons make it as a whole cluster pressed wine fermented with indigenous yeasts in neutral barrel where it ages for one year before being bottled. With a little extra time in bottle, this 2013 has picked up some complexity delivering an Aligote worth getting to know. It still shows plenty of minerality and is a refreshing alternative to Chardonnay that is just as versatile with food. It might even pair well with oysters on the half shell!

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