Recently we found ourselves ensconced at a popular resort–Hoshino Resorts Risonare Yatsugatake–that featured a number of local wines encased in one of those coin-operated tasting contraptions. We dutifully fed our shekels into the machine’s many maws and received a few drops of wine in return, barely enough for a full analysis, but we persevered. Below we will provide brief descriptions of two of the wines tasted and some comments on a bock beer purchased at one of the hotel’s shops.
The first wine we tasted was a Syrah produced by Asahi Yoshu, a winery in Yamanashi. Syrah is not a varietal that one normally associates with Japan, so we were anxious to try this Soleil Syrah 2019. It did not disappoint. Asahi Yoshu’s is a cool-climate Syrah. This 2019 vintage is off dry with medium acidity, soft well-integrated tannins, medium (-) body, and 12% abv. It is medium ruby in color with a nose that is loaded with sugar, vanilla, cassis, and a little bit of clove.
The second wine was Okunota Winery’s La Florette Hanamizuki Blanc. Unfortunately, this one did not work for us. We found it to be animalistic in the extreme and started jotting down words like musk (not of the Elon variety), wet dog, wet fur…. Though not for us, we kept thinking that the late-Jim Buck, professional dog walker extraordinaire who did more than his share to turn Manhattan into a canine poop zone, might have some appreciation for the notes therein. Our previous experience with Okunota Winery was very pleasant: please see here.
Oh, the bock beer? Hey, bock beer is always good. This one is too, of course. This is a local brew: Yatsugatake Rock Bock.