Kōshū! Finally! It took a couple of years to give this indigenous grape variety from Japan the space on this wine blog which it doubtlessly deserves. For all you guys who aren't aware of Koshu - here a super brief introduction at first: Kōshū is a white – well, actually on the surface rather light purpul'ish looking – vitis vinifera variety from Japan. It can be traced back all the way to the 9th/10th century. However, like so many other "things" in Japan its actual revival took place in the second half of the 19th century when the first professional wineries were established in Yamanashi province. Today, most Kōshū grapes are cultivated on volcanic soils (many vineyards lie on the foothills of Mount Fuji) in this eastern Japanese province. The predominant training system for Kōshū is pergola.
Today's Private Reserve Kōshū 2014 from Grace Winery was produced of grapes which were cultivated in the cool and relatively dry Hishiyama area of Katsunuma in Yamanashi province. Fermentation and maturation for this selection wine took place in stainless tanks. Enough of boring blather, let's have some of it ...
Colourwise I've spotted not much than an overwhelmingly lush hue of white gold. My nose has been gently tickled by fragrances of mildly juicy cantaloupe, Japanese Enoki mushrooms, almond blossoms, hints of seaweed and assorted powdery detergents. Everything rather shy and lean. On my palate there were sensations of freshly cut twigs – green ones, including plenty of other aromas which showed reduced and overall fitting pithiness, some Yuzu lemon zest, some shell'y cantaloupe – both mostly rather shy, again Enoki mushrooms and a very respectable lively touch of acid. Aromawise it reminded me a bit of Chasselas from Vaud. Just a bit! For a start (to undermine my ill fit comparison): the acid was much more vital than in any Chasselas I've ever tasted. Anyway, a light and delicate wine with plenty of distinct tart character and obvious marriage qualities with fishy Japanese dishes - perhaps grilled ones. For me a downright interesting and enjoyable so la-la*** wine experience.
Ohhh, by the way the stuff in the background was quite nice as well. Especially those very decent ***** (or better a bit more) 2011ers from Domaine Ligier-Belair and Domaine de Chassorney.