Muscat Bailey-A is a varietal closely associated with Japan. In fact, it can be considered Japan’s most famous “indigenous” red varietal. The quotation marks are necessary because the grape from which the wine is made is not native to Japan. However, Japanese vintners are rather fond of it, and in recent years some have started to produce wines that deserve serious attention. We found this particular offering to be weighted in favor of acidity. The sweetness was noticeable but subdued. Abv was 12.5% and the tannins of medium strength and fairly well integrated with the overall flavor profile. The finish was of medium length. A striking characteristic and one that we found intriguing, as well as pleasant, was how the nose changed after a short breathing period. Our initial assessment immediately after opening was as follows: green pepper, moss, jam, and pepper. After about ten minutes of exposure, though, the green pepper noteswere eclipsed by the aroma of cotton candy (candy floss, if you will). The wine went very well with salted cashew notes. Well worth a try.
Recommendation level (out of five stars)
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