The 2016 Vintage was awarded 90 points and won a silver medal at the Decanter World Wine Awards 2017.
Grace Winery was established in 1923, in the Katsunuma province, the birthplace of the Japanese wine industry. Committed to the belief that great wine is made in the vineyard, they were the first to research and introduce European training and pruning methods introducing such as using long cordon training and Vertical Shoot Positioning in 1990. The wines are made in a modern way to retain the delicate characteristics of this individual and exciting grape variety.
Bud break took place in early May with flowering in mid-June. A dry growing season resulted in a healthy canopy and smaller berries than the average vintage. Cool temperatures in August, were followed by a fine September and October, enabling the grapes to reach maturity while retaining balancing acidity. The grapes were manually picked in early October. Kayagatake Koshu 2017 is wonderfully fresh.
Made from Japan's most important indigenous grape variety. The grapes for this wine are grown in distinctively volcanic soils with good drainage, providing excellent growing conditions for the Koshu grape. This vineyard has a cooler aspect, allowing the slow maturation of the grapes over a long growing season. Traditional trellis pruning has been cast aside in favour of a modern long cordon training system which helps to control yields; concentrating flavours and sugars to balance the high acidity that occurs naturally in this variety. The grapes were hand harvested at optimum maturity.
Fermentation took place in stainless steel to preserve the naturally occurring acidity and pure fruit flavours of the Koshu variety. The wine was matured in stainless steel tanks, where it spent three months on its fine lees adding richness and complexity.
Light and floral in style, the freshness and elegance of this wine is quite remarkable. Delicate flavours of Japanese pear, green apple and herbaceous notes of fennel and lemongrass are backed by a thirst-quenching acidity, delicious peppered spice nuances and a tangy finish. This is the perfect pairing for Japanese cuisine, but also pairs with Asian and Western cuisine which is inspired by fresh seafood, light meats and fresh vegetables. This wine has a linear Zen-like quality, which is all about balance.