This is another great wine with a fascinating story, made by a truly super person, Róisín Curley.
We are very lucky and feel greatly privileged to be able to sell some of her wines.
This is her Bouzeron, an appellation created in the 1998 decree and made exclusively from Aligoté grapes grown in the southern Macon Village of the same name. It is from the very fine, but still painfully small 2022 vintage.
This is the second beautiful expression of Burgundy's "Second" white variety that Róisín has made. Coming only from the appellation of Bouzeron, Aligoté here is typically more golden in colour but with lighter skins, slightly altering the balance for the wines in favour of brighter acidity and freshness - hallmarks that are always evident in Róisín's wines - making this seem the perfect region for her wine-making style. The wine is not overly delicate but is precise, perfumed and floral, and gives texture and complexity often lacking in other Aligoté bottlings. This is on account of the selection of vines and the rigorous practices that Róisín adopts in the winery. The acidity is attractive and engaging, supporting green fruit flavours, citrus notes and un-toasted cashew, flint and a subtle honey note. This is a very special Burgundy: it happens to be made from Aligoté.
The presence of Aligoté in Burgundy was first noted in the eighteenth century, but was possibly in existence for many centuries earlier because it is a hybrid of Pinot Noir (which was growing in Burgundy from at least the first century AD) and Gouais (a Gaulish variety [think of Getafix the druid in Asterix] that is now almost extinct, but which was widely planted, as recorded in Medieval Europe). This parentage allows of the possibility of far earlier planting than the 1700s, as well as making it probable.
Broadly speaking, Róisín gives her wines a very light fining and filtration in order to preserve the natural character of the grapes terroir as much as possible. Indeed, some of her wines are left completely unfiltered. For the winemaking itself, she uses concrete tanks or small vats for fermentation, but seldom made with new oak.
In the vineyard at harvest, and in the winery, too, she does a massive amount of sorting of the grapes (called triage in the vineyard) which has sometimes reduced her potential output up to 50%, but such is Róisín's determination for the very best quality.
The standards that she achieves has allowed her access to some of the best coopers and she now uses a mix of different barrel suppliers, buying more in each of the last six harvests in which her wines have been made.
The grape suppliers for Róisín's wines are mostly all farming organically, as is the case for this wine, and the wine-making philosophy is very definitely hands-off and low-intervention, allowing for terroir and variety to shine.
Regular trips to the region and long-term relationships with the growers allow for total control of the process, which again gives such scintillating quality. Certainly the reaction from the growers themselves is immensely positive and this has to be the highest form of praise one could wish to attain.
Róisín is not only a winemaker and micro-negotiant (which means that she buys the grapes rather than owning the vineyards), she is a full-time pharmacist in Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, and she is also a Master of Wine.
The enthusiasm she had for wine led to Róisín exchanging her hobby for an incredible alternate life which, via lengthy studies, led her to work in Chateau Latour (yes, that Chateau Latour), Chateau Grillet in the Rhone, and Geisenheim in the Rhein and Montpelier. And finally, to Burgundy where she is making just wonderful wines, but never enough for all of us.
Style: Soft, Pure, Profound, Organic, Medium Bodied, Iconic, Fresh, Elegant, Complex, Bright, Balanced
Best food matches: Venison, Veal, Tuna, Trout, Steak, Soft Cheeses, Shellfish, Seafood, Scallops, Salads, Roasts, Poultry, Mature Cheeses, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Game, Fine Dining, Christmas Dinner, Cheeses, Charcuterie, Casseroles, Beef