Woody Farm & Winery’s “The Trial Batch”

Wild  yeast Japanese wine Woody Farm & Winery’s “The Trial Batch”

Some may find this libation from Yamagata Prefecture to be a good antidote for the malaise brought on by the rainy season and the tedium engendered by the practice of social distancing. We do not. Nevertheless, this is an interesting wine. To put it simply, it is different. 

Trial Batch is a blend of international varietals—50% Merlot, 21% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 14% Cabernet Franc. There are no Gamay grapes involved, yet the wine is vaguely Beaujolais-esque. This is probably the result of the semi-carbonic maceration it underwent. The wine has a light body, an abv of 10.5%, is slightly+ sparkling, and dry. The color is somewhere between that of a typical rosé and a Beaujolais nouveau. One hundred and fifty-five “trial” cases were produced.

Trial Batch is a natural wine, and the vintner chose to enlist the services of those unpredictable critters known as “wild yeasts.” One of us perceived an unpleasant bitterness, which did not appear to be the result of untamed tannins from the Cabernet Sauvignon. Besides, the Merlot should have taken care of that problem. So maybe it was the feral yeasts. The nose was nondescript. “Some kind of fruit” may be all that can be said about it.

It is our assessment that Trial Batch is not the result of haphazard or unskilled wine-making. Rather, our less-than-enjoyable experience was probably attributable to Mother Nature’s fickle nature.

Recommendation level (out of five stars):

⭐️1 1/2

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#drinkingjapan #drinkjapan #Japanesewine #wildyeast #woodyfarmandwinery #yamagata

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