Bourgogne Aligoté, Smith-Chapel, 2019 France


Jancis Robinson summed it up brilliantly in this extract from:

Briefly, the story is that David is the son of famous chef Alain Chapel and spent a lot of time with his great friend Marcel Lapierre, godfather of top-quality, ‘natural’ beaujolais. David started out as a sommelier but then worked chez Lapierre. Julia told the story of their whirlwind romance thus: ‘The couple met in 2013 when Michele, a wine director in NYC, visited Domaine Lapierre and, in the absence of Matthieu (she arrived late, apparently), was shown around by David, who moved to NYC a month later.’ Michele had perhaps the top job for any somm in Manhattan, choosing wines for Thomas Keller’s Per Se restaurant, then the hottest spot in town, so it must have taken quite a lot to relinquish that for a life establishing an unknown wine label. (Tasting note below)

Pale gold. Light smoky nose and then extremely opulent fruit on the palate with a hint of spearmint! Gloriously friendly. This has absolutely nothing to do with the tart Aligotés of old. Quite a throb of interest and vitality on the finish. Scrummy – perhaps too much so now to give it a longer life. Super-clean and interesting. I went back to this a whole week after tasting it and it was still in great shape and so thoroughly interesting that I increased my score from 16.5 to 17. It’s still totally scrummy.



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