did know that
at best; down right hideous much of the time.
to the recent Koshu tasting in
is their most important native variety; a grape which travelled East
approximately 1000 years ago; settling
Wine in the European mould has been made made here since 1874, in
was lucky – the very first wine I encountered at the tasting was one of the
best, so I was immediately impressed. Let me be clear though – there is no
doubt that my palate, after years of exposure to the kind of
crystalline purity which some styles of natural wine exhibit, is perhaps more attuned to these than it might
otherwise have been.
really don’t mean to imply that these are only for an elite few – not at all –
but fans of big, bouncy fruit are probably going to feel bemused by Koshu. The flavours are on a small scale; there is
a modesty to them that I loved immediately.
The best examples had more than enough complexity but you had to concentrate
to find it. Meditating on them was
entirely worthwhile though as, in the best examples, the layers were
there. White flowers, fresh nuts (almond
and hazelnut and even peanut in some – not something I have encountered
before), here and there just a hint of lychee; all bound up in crisp lime
acidity and finished off with flavours of cool stone.
was even a sparkling which I fell in love
with immediately. It was like a very
minerally sparkling water with added grapefruit zest. If you don’t like the sound of that you will
probably like the taste even less but I thought it was sensational. Again – clean, vibrant, unalloyed.
were all low-ish or low alcohol, hovering around the 10 – 11% abv mark too;
another highly commendable point.
are currently investigating the possibility of getting a Koshu on the Green
& Blue shelves in the foreseeable future, so do keep an eye out for
this. If you come across one on your
travels though, it is well worth giving a go.
No, not all of them were great but most were at the very least passable
and there were more than enough truly fine examples to make this utterly worth