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Japan Airlines revamps first and business class wine list

27 Feb 2019 by Craig Bright
Fine wine (iStock)

Japan Airlines has unveiled its new list of wine, champagne and sake that will be offered to travellers in first and business class on international routes starting March this year, with a few notable additions making their way into the 2019 selection.

The updated wine list was compiled by Master of Wine Kenichi Ohashi as well as Motohiro Okoshi, a former sommelier who later became Japan’s first wine taster.

Key among these 2019 additions will be a new first class champagne, Salon 2007, as well as Chateau Lagrange 2013, a French Bordeaux wine that will also be served in first class.

Both will be available on board starting March 1 on Japan Airlines’ services from Tokyo Narita to New York, Chicago and Los Angeles, and from Tokyo Haneda to New York, San Francisco, Paris and London.

That being said, Chateau Lagrange 2013 will be available on flights to New York, London and Paris first, starting from March 1, with other routes seeing the wine from March 20. Moreover, throughout September and October passengers will be served the 2011 vintage rather than the 2013.

While passengers in premium economy and economy class won’t be seeing any new wines as part of the revised wine list, they do have the option of Japan Airlines’ own original cuvee wines, called Double “O”, which the carrier launched in August last year.

Business Traveller recently announced the winners of its 2018 Cellars in the Sky awards, an annual showcase recognising the best first and business class wines served by airlines worldwide, with a number of carriers in Asia-Pacific taking top spots.

Blind tastings of 240 bottles from 33 airlines took place at London’s Grosvenor Hotel, Victoria, in December, with the four judges independently scoring the wines over the course of two days. See which airlines ranked among the best for their wines here.

Below is Japan Airlines’ full first and business class wine list for 2019.

First class

March-August 2019

Champagne

  • Salon 2007 (outbound flights)
  • Louis Roederer Cristal 2009 (outbound flights)
  • Comtes de Champagne Grands Crus Blanc de Blancs 2007

White wine

  • Chardonnay Sonoma Coast 2016
  • Goulée Blanc from Ch. Cos d’Estournel, AOP Médoc 2016
  • Grosses Gewachs Grand Cru 2016
  • Chateau Mercian Niitsuru Chardonnay 2017

Red wine

  • Chateau Lagrange 2013
  • Morey-Saint-Denis 1er Cru Les Sorbets 2016
  • Ch.igai Takaha “SONO” Pinot Noir 2015
  • Kusuda Martinborough Pinot Noir 2016

September 2019-February 2020 

Champagne

  • Salon 2007 (outbound flights)
  • Noble Cuvée Brut Vintage 2002 

White wine

  • Chablis Grand Cru Bougros Domaine William Fèvre 2016
  • Schiefer Riesling 2017
  • Single Vineyard “HVD” – Hunter Semillon 2013
  • Aruga Branca Issehara 2016

Red wine

  • Chateau Lagrange 2011 (September-October only)
  • Chateau Lagrange 2013 (November-February only)
  • Prophet’s Rock Home Vineyard Pinot Noir 2015
  • Tiano Nareno 2015
  • Ch.igai Takaha “SONO” Pinot Noir 2015
  • Kusuda Martinborough Pinot Noir 2016

Business class

March-August 2019

Champagne

  • Delamotte Blanc de Blanc nv
  • Piper-Heidsieck Essentiel – extra brut NV

White wine/Rose wine

  • Bourgogne Vieilles Vignes de Chardonnay 2017
  • Ken Forester – Le Petit Sauvignon Blanc 2017
  • Stepp Pinot Blanc 2018
  • Coco Farm & Winery Coco rose 2016 (Rose wine)
  • Borie Manoux Ange de la Trinite Graves Blanc

 Red wine

  • Bouchard Père et Fils Bourgogne Pinot Reserve 2017
  • Felino Malbec Mendoza 2017
  • Borie Manoux Beau Rivage Ange de la Trinite Bordeaux Superieur

September 2019-February 2020

Champagne

  • Delamotte Blanc de Blanc nv
  • Champagne Ayala – Brut Majeur NV

White wine/Rose wine

  • “1685” Chardonnay 2017
  • Mathilda 2018 (Rose wine)
  • Stepp Riesling 2018
  • Borie Manoux Ange de la Trinite Graves Blanc

Red wine

  • Pinot Noir “Doppelstück” 2016
  • Crozes Hermitage – Grand Classique 2016
  • Chateau Mercian Aiakane 2016
  • Borie Manoux Beau Rivage Ange de la Trinite Bordeaux Superieur
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