Darling Estate Aligote: Review
Darling Estate Aligote : If you have never heard of the aligote grape you will not be alone. Because not many people use it outside of its homeland of Burgundy (Bourgogne) in France where it is sometimes blended into chardonnay to put in some extra backbone. And so it is no surprise that if so few people have heard of it that even fewer have planted it. So, it is great that some mavericks in Australia are planting it. At the last count there were two wineries planting it, Hickinbotham of Dromana in the Mornington Peninsula and this one, Darling Estate in the King Valley.
Darling Estate is a little secret treat. I only found out about it when I visited another winery in the King Valley and asked a worker where a local would find an interesting wine. They said Darling Estate. So, when I got there the charming lady there told me the story how Darling Estate was the first in the region that plant grapes there. Although there were plenty of farmers in the region of Italian heritage none were growing grapes and so the reputation of King Valley as an oasis of Italian grape variety growing had not been founded. As a result Darling was unencumbered by any expectation and so grew what it liked. Aligote is one of the results.
Knowing all this means that the wine feels maverick, and so when we photographed the bottle is felt right to put it aside an album cover from the maverick Japanese all-female punk band Otoboke Beaver (this album is superb, check it out here). The wine tastes restrained, with pear influenced flavours. It has more gravitas than an acidic wine like sauvignon blanc and firmer still than most pinot gris. It’s firm and knows what it is and has pleasing backbone.
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My shutterbug ally Le Petite Foodie for use of the pics.