This domaine is as close as most of us will get to Domaine de la Romanee-Conti, Aubert Villaine being co-owner of that legendary domaine. De Villaine is Aubert's project in the Cote Chalonnaise and as you read through his site, it is apparent that the variety held in greatest esteem in the Domaine is Aligote, a variety not highly touted elsewhere in Burgundy. Most textbooks I've read give Villaine great credit for helping elevate Bouzeron into the only AOC dedicated to Aligote and the domaine's best terroirs in Bouzeron are planted with Aligote. Furthernore, the Domaine claims Aligote has an aging potential of up to 10 years.
But what's in the bottle? Well, not the easiest wine in the world to write a note for.
Drunk over three hours. Closed and unimpressive at first, vague and distant fruit and spices on the nose, steely and thin on the palate. Then there are notes of citrus and melons and a minerality that is hard to pin down, I'd perhaps call it perfumed talc. It's got a Chablis steeliness, though with a somewhat different texture. Fills up aromatically, with hints of toast, and grows easier and fatter on the palate as well, after an early, uncomfortably lean greeness that never quite evolves away. Very raw and incomplete but you have to think a wine that takes so long to open has some potential and there's certainly enough acidity for some cellaring potential, despite the fruit being so dormant right now. I'd open my second bottle in 2-3 years but I'm tempted to buy a third to test the Domaine's claims for mid term cellarbility.
Other Aligotes in Israel
There's somewhat of a surge in Aligote imports into Israel. Tomer Gal and Hadas Ezer's Burgundy Wine Collection is importing the de Villaine as well as Aligote from Domaines d'Auvenay (which sold out within days for the second straight year), Ramonet and Ponsot (whose Aligote comes from a Morey-St-Denis 1er cru vineyard). In addition, Wine Route is importing Jadot's version, which I don't think claims to come from vineyards as good as BWC's imports.