In the past few years we have seen more and more wine come out of Asia. China, with it’s vast reserves of capital, lots of land and a growing taste for expensive French wines, has increased their plantings of grapevines tremendously.
Other countries in the region, including India, Thailand, Taiwan and Bali, have jumped into the fray, hoping to capitalise on the boom. While it may be hard to find such examples in your local bottleshop, this may only be a matter of time.
- Clarity: Clear
- Intensity: Medium
- Colour: Purple
- Condition: Clean
- Intensity: Medium+
- Development: Youthful
- Sweetness: Dry
- Acidity: Medium+
- Tannin: Medium
- Alcohol: Medium
- Body: Medium+
- Flavor Intensity: Medium+
- Finish: Medium
- Quality: Good
- Readiness/Cellaring: Can drink now, potential to cellar
- Identity: Japan / Yamanashi / Muscat Bailey A, Cabernet Sauvgnon, Merlot
- Price: High-priced (~$45)
- Long, thin tears
- Aromas of stewed prunes, blackberry, jam, cut vine
- Flavours of chocolate, stewed prunes, blackberry jam, blackcurrant, liquorice
- Slight suggestion of sweetness on palate, but still decidedly dry.
- A little touch too much bitterness and rough chalky tannins cause this wine to seem slightly imbalanced.
- Suggested pairing with stronger-flavoured dishes, e.g. braised beef, sous-vide cuts with heavy sauces like reduced PX (Pedro Ximénez)
Japan is no different, although surprisingly it seems that they have a longer wine history than their neighbours, beginning with Jesuit monks bringing wine and plants in the mid-19th century. This just goes to show that as long as conditions are right, there is no reason why wine cannot be made anywhere in the world.
This wine’s slight sweetness may be aimed at the domestic market, as the Asian palate may not be used to very dry wines. Add to that the mild bitterness and rough tannins and this suggests that the Japanese winemaking still has some catching up to do with the rest of the world (although it may be unfair of me to generalise an entire industry based on a single example).
Read more: A Rational Approach to Wine Tasting