Aladame: a legendary producer from Montagny, an appellation that deserves much more attention and acclaim.
Aladame is located in Montagny-les-Buxy, and while more and more estates are popping up in the appellation, a large percentage of the Montagny harvest (70% or so) is still bottled by the cooperative in Buxy.
The terroir is mainly limestone, and the best producers – of which Stéphane Aladame is one – produce beautiful, mineral-driven wines that bear more resemblance to the better parts of Chablis than to Puligny-Montrachet.
As in Chablis, the 2019 vintage here has produced some beautifully energetic wines. I spent a full week tasting the different Aladame wines, gradually getting more and more thrilled and invigorated. These are indeed vivid and fresh wines. That good? Yes they are!
Stéphane Aladame has a fine estate with around 8 hectares which he has built from scratch since starting in 1992. Now pushing 50 years of age, Stéphane seems very confident orchestrating his home terroirs around Montagny-les-Buxy.
The Montagny cuvees are different in an interesting and understated way: refined, delicate, and with the ease and effortlessness that show the work of a great vigneron.
These are top-notch wines that should be on the wish list of all Burgundy lovers. But the limited knowledge of the Montagny appellation is sadly constraining the fame and glory of these beauties.
Sometimes I would prefer to keep wines like these as my personal secret. But in the end, this is not a good idea for anyone – not for the vigneron and not for me as a writer.
Must I? OK: Get some while you can, and enjoy the refinement before the prices go through the roof like most other good wines from Burgundy.
I tasted six wines provided by Stéphane Aladame, and each had its own unique qualities. The ratings below are the result of a week’s tastings, and could perhaps be different if cellaring and settings were altered. But these are my views currently, especially weighing energy and vivacity as main parameters.
Stéphane Aladame Bourgogne “Mon Blanc” 2019
Generous and intense – slightly richly flavoured, with a medium reductive note. Lively, slightly spicy, and with a lovely expressive note and quite some character and spunk. While a gentle statement, this is not middle of the road. There is slight yeasty tone from the reduction, but this is a surprisingly serious wine. A delight, and not to be taken lightly.
(Drink from 2021) – Good+ (86-87p) – Tasted 29/01/2021 – 😁😁
Stéphane Aladame Montagny Village Prélude 2019
Lively, with a slightly rich core of yellow fruit. Again some slight reduction, yet a lovely mineral touch. A soupcon of fennel supports the mineral note. Fresh, with a strong yet refined signature. The fresh, reductive, grapey note in the finish is delicate and vivid.
(Drink from 2021) – Good++ (87-88p) – Tasted 24/01/2021 – 😁😁
Stéphane Aladame 1er Cru Les Burnins 2019
Pure mineral – a clear Chablis expression with very little, if any, reduction. Deep and intense, with perhaps not quite the ultimate energy. Intense, but lacking just a bit of edge and freshness. Still, a lovely mineral note and cool fruit for the vintage. From very old vines.
(Drink from 2024) – Good++ (87-89p) – Tasted 25/01/2021 – 😁😁
Stéphane Aladame Montagny 1er Cru Les Vignes Derrière 2019
Vivid and deep with tremendously fresh fruit, this is elegant with nice – but not intrusive – reduction. A great Montagny, this is very, very interesting, effortless and airy with truly emotional qualities. It is at ease and vivid, with an ever-so-slight floral and perfumed honey note – so refined! This has an inner glow and balance, and is a real beauty with plenty of joie de vivre. A vin d’émotion!
(Drink from 2027) – Fine (90-91p) – Tasted 27/01/2021 –
Stéphane Aladame Montagny 1er Cru Les Maroques 2019
Richer and weightier than the Vignes Derrière, this has a certain sunny opulence. It is a bit darker in the fruit, and somewhat reduced. It has lovely lushness and a delightful airiness. While not particularly minerally driven, it has an old-vine feeling, more of elegance than terroir.
(Drink from 2025) – Very Good (88-89p) – Tasted 28/01/2021 – 😁😁
Stéphane Aladame Montagny 1er Cru Selection Vieilles Vignes 2019
A step up. Gorgeous mineral expression, with a honied fruit note from the old vines in the four climats Les Platiéres, Les Gouresses, Les Las and Les Creux de Beaux Champs. Very refined, with an airiness and effortlessness that puts a good number of tallies on the hedonistic side of the ledger. Simply delightful.
(Drink from 2025) – Very Good (89-90p) – Tasted 29/01/2021 –
A final comment
As always, I was both inspired and thrilled to taste 2019s, and Aladame’s were no exception.
I would not say that 2019 is the best vintage since 1865. I was actually thinking more of the 986 vintage (no, I didn’t drop the 1) – coincidentally the year when Denmark lost our famous king Harald Bluetooth.
2019 is a magnificent year. Vignerons of luck and talent have produced historically great wines – including these.
The Aladame wines are in Denmark importet by and sold by the Fine-Vine.