I'll get to the backlog of notes I promised in my first post, but I just had to share this one right now. I opened one of the more surprising wines I've had in a while.
Jed Steele's Shooting Star 2003 Washington State Aligoté, US$10.99, 13.5% alc. -- I picked this up on a whim as the 6th bottle I needed to get a 10% discount. Upon tasting, my first thought was "new oak?!? Huh?!?" Granted, this is my first Aligoté, but I had read that Aligoté and oak don't go together. Since I hadn't researched the wine beforehand, I checked out the winery website and found out I was wrong, no new oak. It's fermented in older oak barrels.
I wasn't entirely surprised when I was proven wrong. It wasn't exactly the toasty, buttery vanilla of new oak, but I couldn't place it at first. I went back to my trusty Oz Clarke encyclopedia and found that, at its best, Aligoté can taste like fresh buttermilk. I went back to the wine, inhaled--yep, that was it--not butter, but buttermilk. Aligoté is supposed to taste that way? Really?
So there it is, a full-bodied wine with notes of very ripe apples and buttermilk--a taste to satisfy an oak-o-phile without the heavy-handed overmanipulation most oenophiles would object to.
A toast to whim and bottled surprises.