Elite Sub-$25 Summer Sipper: 2011 Bachelet Bourgogne Aligote

Posted by Ian McFadden

Casual Bachelet
2011 Bachelet Bourgogne Aligoté

That we love Bachelet will come as no surprise to you.

The dedication is well documented in past offers, and frankly, we're not the only ones. Denis Bachelet is one of the masters of Burgundy, plain and simple—even if his wines are anything but. His Charmes-Chambertin is undisputed as one of the greatest wines in the region, and prices and availability reflect this master's acclaim.

What might surprise you is that one of our favorites of his six-wine (almost-entirely-red) line-up is an under-$25 Aligoté.

It seems that everything Bachelet touches turns to dynamism, complexity, expectation-crushing soulfulness—even when that something is a grape as typically simple as Aligoté. It's a grape that generally doesn't try to be anything more than what it is, but in Bachelet's hands, Aligoté reaches new heights.

Where normally, the grape offers a clean, citrus-y acidity, Bachelet's expression is long and balanced, imbued with a graceful, almost smoky minerality. This is the greatest casual white you've ever sipped by the grill; so get your ice bucket ready, because this wine is in stock and summer has begun.

Also, it's pretty exciting to be able to drink a top-tier producer on a lazy summer afternoon, and not have to think twice about it. You're just that baller, and these are priced just that well.

With every 2011 white Burgundy I drink, I fall a little bit more in love with the vintage. The fresh, juicy charm these wines exhibit is irresistible. And against the backdrop of bright fruit, the Aligoté grape, with its high acidity and even sometimes unforgiving nature, attains incredible balance.

This is by far one of the best white wine values of the year. It's a wine to have on hand in quantity, and yet as much as it pains me to say it, the problem remains: There's relatively little to be had. I advise you to stock up, because it's likely you won't see this wine again.

You could easily enjoy these all in the next few months, and we wouldn’t fault you one bit if you did. But just to put this out there: We've opened a few back vintages of Bachelet's Aligoté over the past several months, and we were flat-out impressed. With a few years of age, the inherent sharpness of Aligoté rounds out into something deeper.

So go ahead and stock up for summer—but you might want to get a couple more. Just to see.

To order, reply to offers@crushwineco.com or call the store at (212) 980-9463.

Ian McFadden
Director, Fine and Rare Wine
Crush Wine & Spirits