This week's flight/tasting
CHATEAU D'ARLAY, France's Jura Region
In early January, we started our aggressive weekly tasting program, with first of the year visits with key french importers and regional distributors. The incredible highlight was an opportunity to taste four wines from the almost "iconic" Château d'Arlay. Historically we have only been able to get a case per year of wine from this heralded domaine out of France's Jura region. So when we were offered a 'substantial' opportunity at their 2022 allocation, we jumped high. Really high! I'm still scratching my head, but suffice to say, it's a unique time (with Covid and what one might call the 'restaurant-omicron effect' as it relates to what would normally be snapped up by NYC and other metro area restaurant groups - with powerful somm-driven groups normally wiping out the US allocations). It's something we definitely took advantage of... and you'll be the ultimate winner here with Château d'Arlay in your cellar.
Admittedly, much of our handsome allocation was snapped up by La Cave members and our wine club subscribers, but we kept a handful of wines for a special tasting room debut this weekend. Suffice to say, we've never been able to pour these wines in the tasting room because we just have never been able to get any significant quantity of wines.
I won't bore you with a long historical perspective on Château d'Arlay, but I'm compelled to tell you that I'm completely smitten with these wines and not just because Château d'Arlay is the 'First Royal Vineyard of France' dating to the year 630! In fact, Château d'Arlay remained in the Laguiche family (for those of you that might recall that name from the 'Le Montrachet' monument in Burgundy) since the 12th century. The domaine has been owned by the Kings of France, Spain and England. These are among a few key reasons why the Château is registered as a national monument in France. It's not only the history buffs coming by the Château every year to visit, it's the somms and the real passionatos of the wine world.
Today, the Count Alain de Laguiche (current generation) has been at the helm of Château d'Arlay since the early 1980s and produces a tremendous lineup of Jurassic wines from their nearly 50 acres of vineyards located just outside the château's walls.
These are incredible wines and are also incredibly well-priced. If you want to get on the Jura train, this is a perfect way to make that happen. And if you don't know the Jura region, just think of it as a heaven for Burgundian varietals, but grown closer to Switzerland, and equally as expressive as burgundy, but at nowhere near the same price point.
Read on and we look forward to seeing you this weekend! It all starts tonight.