26 February 2007

TN: Judge and Jura (BWE notes)

[vineyard]Tasting notes from the Boston Wine Expo. These were difficult tasting conditions, where speed and distraction were the norm rather than the exception. Thus, notes are brief at best, somewhat superficial, and cannot in truth be otherwise.

Laguiche “Château d’Arlay” 2001 Côtes du Jura “Corail” (Jura) – Pinot noir, trousseau, poulsard, chardonnay and savagnin. Mixed old apples, and slightly stale nuts with long, terrific acid-based structure. There’s a sensation of old furniture to which a patina of polish has been applied. Lovely and soft, despite the acidity. (2/07)

Laguiche “Château d’Arlay” 2001 Côtes du Jura Rouge (Jura) – 100% pinot noir. Raspberry and roses (both fresh and older, somewhat decayed versions) with dead cider aromas and nuts. Strongly-expressed, but perhaps pursued a little farther down its particular organoleptic road than I can easily follow. (2/07)

Laguiche “Château d’Arlay” 2003 Côtes du Jura Chardonnay “à la Reine” (Jura) – Pure white and grey rocks with salt, showing bigger but unidentifiable fruit in the forepalate. This is a vin de terroir much more than it is a chardonnay. (2/07)

Laguiche “Château d’Arlay” 2000 Côtes du Jura Blanc (Jura) – Chardonnay and savagnin. Hazelnut and golden raisin with a peanut vinegar note. It sounds bizarre, but it’s a frankly delicious wine, complex and long. (2/07)

Laguiche “Château d’Arlay” 1998 Côtes du Jura Vin Jaune (Jura) – 100% savagnin. Big and complex, showing apricot, banana skin, wet salt, and huge acidity. The length is incredible. There’s a faint aura of must, but more that of the ancient wine cellar than anything deleterious. (2/07)

Laguiche “Château d’Arlay” 2000 Vin de Paille (Jura) – Trousseau, poulsard, chardonnay and savagnin, denied the appellation due to atypicity (“too much cinnamon” or some such nonsense). Lemongrass, hazelnut…and yes, cinnamon…with elegant softness. It arrives with gentility, and is then carried away on a light spring breeze. (2/07)

Laguiche “Château d’Arlay” 1999 Côtes du Jura Vin de Paille (Jura) – Trousseau, poulsard, chardonnay and savagnin. Sweet white plum, blood orange rind, apricot and soft caramel…a thickness that carries through to the texture. This is more direct than the 2000, and perhaps simpler as well. But they are both delicious wines. (2/07)

Laguiche “Château d’Arlay” Macvin du Jura Rouge (Jura) – 100% pinot noir. The sharp bite of the maquis, needled and herbal, dominates this pointed brew that rests on an undertone of fermented old straw. The finish is long and surprisingly soft, with oranges and sweet wood ear mushrooms emergent. Fabulous…but not quite as good as the blanc. (2/07)

Laguiche “Château d’Arlay” Macvin du Jura Blanc (Jura) – Chardonnay and savagnin. More pure than the rouge, showing white candy and white chocolate with praline and nougat. Incredibly complex, this expands and shifts on the palate, dancing and weaving away from each attempt to pin it down. A stunning performance. (2/07)

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