96 Chateau D'Arlay, Cotes du Jura Blanc
I could drink a nip of this every morning, right after ripping off the head of a langoustine blanched in court-bouillon. Which is to say, there is something primal, but indelibly innocent about this wine, like an open-mouthed perch sweeping up minnows in the morning. It's oloroso sherry with a twist of lemon peel--maybe even that court-bouillon itself. That's what I'll never get about these oxidative Jura whites. They seem so elegant and noble, but taste as old as the earth that feeds the chardonnay and savignin grapes in this bottle. Almonds all over--like a tight-vintage champagne after 30 years of aging (Diebolt-Vallois, this means you)--but pair it with some acid and salt (oh, say, a mound of shaved pickled ginger kissing a tray of otoro tuna)--and that sherried quality disappears. The Jura becomes Burgundian chardonnay--an alchemy of the palate that brings in new flavors of apple skins and vanilla. But no matter what you say about a wine, the only question that really matters is, would you like some more? As academic as some wines can be, they can only be great because of how they taste. So would I like another? Yes, I'll have a tincture--with a glass of Dead Sea.