Wine Japan

The years of the grape – On wine

Tasted wines (Europe)

19 May 2020
Juan Gil Yellow Label Jumilla Monastrell 2017 **
(Spain, 2000 yen, Firadis)
Soothing and alcoholic, but well balanced by the acidity and the soft tannins. Typical southern Spanish style, with ripe black fruits and hints of oak. However it also developed pretty fast and the following day it had already sensibly declined. The cork also came out very easily, so easily in fact that I wonder if it was properly closing the bottle in the first place. Not memorable, but it does the job.

19 May 2020
Casa Ermelinda Freitas Setubal Peninsula Alvarinho 2014 *
(Portugal, 2,000 yen)
Yew, this was really too old. Unsold stock? I bought it to see how Portuguese Alvarinho compares with Spanish Rias Baixas Albariño, but it was too developed to be of any use. Some intensity, ok balance (but subdued acidity). Borderline acceptable (to be generous). Selling a wine that is clearly past its best is really not a good service to the producer: inexperienced drinkers will just find it weird.

30 June 2019
Condes de Albarei Rias Baixas Albariño 2017 ***
(2,000 yen, Union Liquors)
A good Albarino, with nice balance and aromatic/flavor intensity: the high acidity is offset by a slighlty creamy palate due to a likely lees ageing, which also contributes some complexity in the form of light leesy aromas. The flavors are a bit confected though and the finish is not extremely long, but it is anyway a solid example of this kind of wine.

5 May 2019
Vallformosa Origen Cava Brut NV (Spain) ***
Lots of Cava recently, for some reason, and this one is another good one. The aromas are a bit fresher and more citrusy and green than the Familia Oliveda, though after some warming it also shows yellow apple and white peach. The bready character is well defined.
The mousse is nice, pretty fine, it doesn’t explode in your mouth. Medium body and nice acidity.
Pretty solid. I don’t think it is sold in Japan, but it could be acceptable for 1500-1900 yen.

3 May 2019
Familia Oliveda Cava Brut NV (Spain) ***
Bubbles are a bit coarse, but yeasty aromas are pretty well defined and the wine also shows yellow and stone fruit. The typical rubber aroma of cava is not very strong here, which I prefer.
Medium body, some freshness, pretty basic, but remarkable quality for the low price (around 1000 yen). I would buy again.

21 November 2018
Seguin-Manuel Savigny-lès-Beaune 1er Cru Les Lavières 2014 ***** (France)
Showing beautifully. Fruit aromas, spices from oak and savouryness from ageing. Quite substantial and solid for a Savigny, grippy tannins, but also high acidity.
I think this has at least another five years ahead.

24 April 2019
Domaine Felettig Chambolle-Musigny Vieilles Vignes 2016 ***** (France)
Recently I am so busy with teaching WSET and Italian Wine Scholar that I almost stopped drinking Burgundy. This is maybe why this wine for me was like a “madeleine”, bringing to mind memories of this region.
Bright red fruit enriched by the iron and stony minerality typical of this village and enlived by pungent cloves-like spicy aromas. Elegant in the mouth, with very fresh acidity and light tannins supporting a medium weight frame.
At 8,000 yen it is not really cheap, but that’s the sad reality of Burgundy lovers all over the world (except maybe in Burgundy).

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