Japanese Wines using 100% grapes grown in Japan and brewed in Japan have made a remarkable progress, attracting intense attention from the rest of the world. As the woke “Japanese Wine” invokes a paradigm shift, 3 key opinion leaders who are authorities on wine rigorously selected and 12 brands of “Japanese Wines” and introduce them for us.
Japanese Wine selected by Rie Matsuki, Sommelier x Kisvin Pinot Noir 2016
A legend in the wine industry sadly passed away last year and is greatly missed – Gerard Basset, who has variety of titles including Master of Wine. In 2017, when Basset visited Japan and tried Kisvin Pinot Noir 2015, he immediately posted his impressions onto the SNS. It goes without saying that it made the wine a Cinderella wine instantly.
Basset went so far as to tell Mayu Saito, the Brewer-in-Chief, that he’d wanted to purchase all the stock of that wine. It was the first successful instance of the vintage wine, as a result of challenging wine production using Pinot Noir which was said to be difficult to grow in Japan.
According to Mayu Saito, “Pinot Noir 2016” was a “year of experimentation that determined our direction”. I happened to have frequently visited Kisvin that year to carefully monitor the aging of that wine.
As the wine changes its expression playfully and flippantly in the glass, so try to drink it at a slow pace. The initial taste is a cassis-liquor like enriched flavor, with structure of solid bitterness giving it depth. After a short exposure to air, a tea-like mature aroma appears, with a slight accent on the acid taste, making it more delicate. As more time passes, a spicy taste like nutmeg comes to front while the fruity richness is restored at the same time.
The wine alone is blissful to enjoy, but combining it with the seared bonito slices marinated with a ponzu sauce, the smoky flavor, umami and acid taste of the dish created a perfect marriage with the wine. It’s a must try!
Kisvin Pinot Noir 2016
Producer: Kisvin Winery / Brewer: Mayu Saito, Representative: Yasuhiro Hagiwara
Characteristics: Since 2013, started brewing as a winery. The high quality grapes produced by Mr.Hagiwara, the third generation of a grape farming family, and the wine production by Ms.Saito that brilliantly extracted the potential of that grape have steadily expanded a fan case, making Kisvin such a popular winery today that their wines are offered at three-Michelin stars restaurants as well as dining outlets of international luxury hotels.
Price: 16,200 JPY（Tax included/Research by the Editorial Team）
Born and bred in Aichi Prefecture, and after working for outlets including Tailleband Robuchon, moved to France in 2006. Apprenticed to Enrico Bernardo, World’s Best Sommelier, in the South of France, and worked as sommelier at a Michelin Star restaurant in Paris for 6 years. Upon returning to Japan and working as Sommelier for Mandarin Oriental Tokyo, became an independent sommelier. Today, she lectures at Caplan Wine Academy and other institutes. As a JSA certified Senior Sommelier and WSET Level 3 Certified sommelier, explores the possibility of boldly combining even casual meals with wine.
A Japanese Wine: A Must-Know Bran…