Steele Wines “Jed Steele’s” Shooting Star Aligoté 2013

Golden yellow color; flowers, apple on the nose; lemon, hazelnut, citrus, apple, flinty minerality on the palate.

Very crisp, clean, with admirable acidity (3.57 pH) and minerality. Smooth, some unique flavors, very limited oak (10 months in French oak, none new). Aligoté is the “other” grape in Burgundy, often blended with chardonnay. The vine is vigorous and enjoys the cold, so it is great fit for some areas, including Washington State where the grapes for this effort were grown. It also is major grape in Eastern Europe, including Bulgaria and Romania, also in Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Kazakhstan. Aligoté is grape that is grown everywhere you have never heard, a grape you do not think your have ever tasted. Although you may have tasted it as part of Burgundy blend and not know it.

Famed winemaker Jed Steele found blocks of Aligoté grown by the Newhouse family on land south of Sunnyside, Washington, and jumped on the chance to make wine with exotic juice from vines planted in the 1970s.

With its fairly neutral flavors, distinct minerality, superb acidity, this would be wonderful pairing with oysters. Great change of pace from chardonnay, if you can find it. $13-15

Steele Wines website

Second photo: Jed Steele

Steele Wines ‘Jed Steele’s’ Shooting Star Aligoté 2013
Jed Steele