2016 Claire Nadin Aligote
Region: Côte de Nuits < Burgundy < France
Vineyard/cellar stats: Organic, dry-farmed vineyards; unfined/unfiltered with no additives, including So2; zero-zero
Winemaker: Claire Naudin
LADY IN CHARGE: Claire Naudin
In 1994 Claire, fresh out of enology school, started making wine at the estate she took over from her father, halfway between the Cotes de Beaune and Cotes de Nuits in Burgundy. Her style has always been very minimalist, but she started experimenting with no sulfur winemaking in 2001, in response to the terrible migraines she started suffering after work in the cellar. Not only did this solve her migraine problem (newsflash: So2 is bad shit!) but she found the wines were more expressive and more stable without. Claire found that by using long, slow 3-hour whole cluster pressings to slowly expose the juice to oxygen and fortify it with the antioxidants found in the stems, she got very stable wines that would not oxidize further or fade upon opening.
Burgundy is the historic home of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, as we all know, but Aligoté is the regions unsung hero. We’ve stumbled across a few of incredible quality recently, mostly because the large négoces have ignored the grape in favor of Chardonnay. Thankfully, however, the remaining older vines have fallen into the hands of small producers like Claire. Bright and aromatic, this wine is complex, almost Chenin like, with green apple, wet stones and a juicy lemon-orange thing going on. We heart Claire and her wines, kicking butt with her lady-made, super-natural wines in what is still very much the boys club of Burgundy!