Vincent Dureuil-Janthial 2003 Bourgogne Aligoté ($25.00)
A variety worth knowing if only for wine-trivia discussions, Aligoté is the other white grape of Burgundy, making up a mere few drops in a sea of Chardonnay. Although it's generally regarded as a "lesser" grape capable of making only a short-lived wine, its plantings are declining in favor of its more sought-after cousin. But Burgundians recognize it as a worthy summer sipper and a fair food wine all year 'round. It good hands, especially in a ripe vintage like '03, it can make a white of real quality. This is a transparent, straw-color wine with pleasant aromas of fresh apples and a hint of spice (this importer's special bottling very likely sees a bit of oak); a snappy twist of lemon adds an appealing grace note on the nose and palate, and its mouth-filling, freshly tart flavor is crisp and pleasantly lemon-accented. US Importer: North Berkeley Imports, Berkeley, Calif. (Jul 25, 2005)

FOOD MATCH: Well-suited for sipping as a summer aperitif, it would match nicely with chicken or fish or a range of cheeses and vegetarian fare. It went very well indeed with the meatless pasta dish featured in last week's Wine Advisor FoodLetter, a variation on Marcella Hazan's penne with spinach and ricotta using fresh kale as a substitute green.

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