“When You’re Hot, You’re Hot; When You’re Not, You’re Not”: Takeda Winery Sans Soufre Cidre 2017

drinkingjapan #drinkjapan #Japanesecider #sansoufre #takedawinery #yamagata

These days the word “herd” is being used with ever-increasing frequency. In short, herd immunity is good, but as Nietzsche made clear many years ago, herd mentality is not. What does this have to do with the subject matter dealt with on this blog, you ask? Good question. A number of years ago there was a great demand for heavily oaked, buttery Chardonnays, the kind that one could expect from, say, Gloria Ferrer. But somehow the herd was redirected from such opulent creations and headed for the unoaked, somewhat austere versions of that white wine, lapping it up with great enthusiasm.  Now a similar phenomenon appears to be taking place with sparkling beverages.  The herd is making haste—it’s not yet a stampede—in the direction of sparkling beverages made using the ancestral method, a.k.a., pétillant naturel (Pét Nat), or some variation thereof.  Recently, one of us went to purchase a Japanese cider from one of our favorite purveyors of wines and ciders, and he was surprised to find that all of those on offer were made using the ancestral method or some variation thereof.  Well, as Jerry Reed so profoundly put it, “When You’re Hot, You’re Hot; When You’re Not, You’re Not”!

Arguments are made for Pét Nat wines’ being natural, more healthful, greener, and vegan friendly. The first-mentioned assertion rests on the unstated premise that human intervention is in some way unnatural, which is a highly dubious claim. From our perspective, when the ancestral method is used, the yeasts eclipse the role of the winemaker or cidermaker. Those wonderful little buggers are the ones calling the shots. The knowledge, skill, and good taste of the human producer are not fully brought into play.

drinkingjapan #drinkjapan #Japanesecider #sansoufre #takedawinery #yamagata

We will now turn to the review. This week we tasted a cider from Yamagata Prefecture—Takeda Winery Sans Soufre Cidre 2017. This is a beverage containing three varieties of apples: Fuji (70%), Orin (20%), and Jonagold (10%). The second fermentation takes place in the bottle. It is an unfiltered cider devoid of sulphur. Clear, crisp, and dry on the palate, the nose is yeasty, and the abv is 7%. It appears to have about three bars of pressure. This beverage reminded one of us of a Basque-country cider he had tasted a number of years ago. Takeda Winery’s San Soufre Cidre is very good, a suitable drink for the humid days we have confronted recently.

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