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Type
White Wine

Julien Cruchandeau Aligote 'Le Village' 2022

Region
Côte de Nuits
Vintage
2022
In Stock
Add To Cart
$34.00
 
SKU: ECRU01W-22
Overview

From 50 year old vines in the hills above Nuits St Georges, this Aligote is fresh and spicy with green apple acidity.  Bright, crisp almost crunchy fruit and a deep, floral lingering finish carried out long by the limestone minerality.
 

Winemaker

Julien Cruchandeau started making wine in 2003, and was one of the pioneers of Bouzeron. He has since moved up into the hills above Nuits St Georges to pursue what has become an incredibly dynamic career, marking him as one of the great winemakers of his generation.

Julien champions the lesser-known appellations.  And has taken on the Aligote grape as a badge of honor. So it was really no coincidence that he chose Bouzeron as his starting point.  Appellation Bouzeron (as opposed to every other Burgundy appellation, bar one), chose Aligote over Chardonnay or Pinot Noir, as the appellation's grape. It was a radical move, spearheaded by an elder statesman of Burgundy wine, Aubert De Villaine of Domaine Romanée-Conti, meant to give Aligote the respect and reputation it deserves.  And now, 20 years on, we are seeing the results, not only in some truly magnificent Bouzerons, but also in the quality of Bourgogne Aligote in general.

In 2009 when he moved his winery from Bouzeron to Chaux, a tiny village in the Hautes Cotes up behind Nuits St George. Here he took on another underdog, appellation Hautes Côtes de Nuits. In retrospect, it was a prescient move. The buzz phrase in Burgundy these days, especially after several recent years of drought, is the 'quality is moving up the hill'. In other words, the perfect Burgundian growing conditions are at a higher altitude these days than they were a decade ago.

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The back story is fascinating.  Julien worked in the early 2000s for a domain in Bouzeron, so he learned the subtleties of the grape from many of the Burgundian masters.  And of course he crossed paths with Aubert De Villaine who has a domain in Bouzeron and whose crusade to promote Aligote was gaining ground.  The Domaine De Villaine's Aligote vineyards are planted in what are known as 'massale selection' vines. As opposed to 'clones', massale selection vines are produced with wood taken from old vineyards that were planted in the days before clonal planting. This preserves the variations of the older vines which were selected for their superior quality production.  Vineyards planted in massale selection have significant varietal variation, which adds depth and dimension to the resulting wine.

So when Julien bought his first vineyards in Bouzeron, he wanted to plant the best quality plants he could get his hands on.  So he turned to Aubert De Villaine, who, wanting to further promote Bouzeron and help the younger producers, offered Julien vines from his massale selection.  To this day, Julien's Bouzeron is called 'Massale', and is one of the shining stars of the appellation.

Flush with the success of his Bouzeron 'Massale', Julien took on a substantial parcel of Aligote when he set up in the Hautes Côtes de Nuits in 2009.  His Hautes Cotes Aligote is from a large single vineyard named 'Le Village' and is model of what Bourgogne Aligote can be.

Vintage
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BURGUNDY 2022

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After three successive high-quality but low-quantity vintages, winemakers in Burgundy are refilling their cellars with an excellent 2022 harvest.This is not to say that it was an easy ride. Once again, frost, heat and drought put stress on the growing season, but timing is everything, and the extreme weather did much less damage than in previous years.

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Winters have been wet and mild for years now. The winter of 2021-22 was not, with less than average rainfall and seasonal temperatures. Under these ‘normal’ conditions, we would expect budburst in the first half of April. But summer-like conditions at the end of March forced the vines, especially Chardonnay, to bud early, and we went into frost season with tender green buds exposed. There were two nights in the coming week below zero, but damage was limited.

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Spring conditions set in in mid-April, but Summer followed soon thereafter, dry with spiky heat waves. The vines went wild.  Winemakers fought to keep the growth under control. And the fight continued until flowering, which happened a couple of weeks early in mid-May.

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The warm, dry conditions led to nearly-perfect flowering. We saw for the first time the potential of a great crop, with lots of beautiful, full, well-formed grape bunches; and an early harvest, with fruit setting well ahead of schedule.

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But the drought held, and the fear was that this beautiful fruit would shrivel on the vine. Finally, at the end of June, the rain came. Summer storms bring with them the risk of hail, so all eyes were on the sky as the storms were sometimes violent causing significant but limited hail damage. The rains were intermittent, but regular for the next weeks. The cumulative rainfall would not be enough to see the crop through to harvest, however.

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The heat waves continued through the rains, and so the risk of fungal disease, usually associated with wet conditions, dried up. But temperatures spiked and dry conditions set in again. The grapes ripened in a full-blown heat wave. Winemakers had to keep a close eye on sugar levels, as the risk was that ripeness could gallop away at the last minute.

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And then, just about the time when it looked like an over-ripe mid-August harvest was imminent, it rained again. And the producers were able to let that water absorb into the fruit, increasing the volume of juice that was ultimately harvested in the first week of September.

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2022, both white and red, are showing real depth and ripeness. And while there was once again very little malic acid, the tartaric acid holds the balance and structure together. Early tastings in the barrel show enormous charm and vitality. Very promising.

Appellation

BOUZERON

COTE CHALONNAISE

Village appellation of wines from the Aligoté grape of Côte Chalonnaise, in Saône-et Loire. One of the five appellations of Côte Chalonnaise, and the closest to Côte-d'Or. Created by the appellation decree of February 17, 1998, this Village appellation replaces the former regional appellation Bourgogne aligoté Bouzeron.

Communes of production: Bouzeron and Chassey-le-Camp.Area in production

Area in production 59.98 ha

White wines exclusively, grape variety Aligoté.

Aligoté (6% of the Burgundy grape variety) is a very old plant in Burgundy. This  vigorous white grape carries grapes a little bigger and more numerous than those of Chardonnay. The grape variety Aligoté comes from a cross between the Pinot Noir and the Gouais (Gallic grape variety), which has disappeared today. Aligoté grown in Bouzeron is called ‘dore’ : when the grapes ripen under the effect of the sun, their skin finer than the traditional Aligoté produced on the rest of Burgundy, takes a golden hue and especially allows a balance in the ripening between alcohol and acid.

Bouzeron has a pale gold color, slightly green, which can go towards pale straw. The nose evokes acacia and other white flowers. Flinty mineral aromas and lemony acidity are its classic bouquet. A touch of honey, sometimes. On the palate, it’s round and robust.

Recognized in 1997 as a village appellation, the Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée Bouzeron honors the grape variety that has made its name: Aligoté. It is particularly successful in Burgundy. In Côte Chalonnaise, north of the Saône-et-Loire, separated from Santenay by the valley of the Dheune, this hill village is very close to Rully and Chassagne-Montrachet.

Bouzeron, AOC Village, is exclusively grown on hillsides on soils composed of limestone-dominated white marl, which makes it possible to better control the yields and to propose its particular terroir. The low hills are used to grow Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, whose wines are marketed under the AOC "Bourgogne Côte Chalonnaise".  Aligoté grows bestat altitudes between 270 and 350 meters above sea level. The upper part rests on white marl (Oxfordian, first floor of the Upper Jurassic). These hills also bear the bathonian, brown and marly limestones. Soils are usually thin and steep. Exposure: East and Southeast.

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$34.00
 
SKU: ECRU01W-22
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