Here Comes The Sun 2020

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Ashikaga, Tochigi

Grapes: Tannat 82% (from Yamagata), Cabernet Sauvignon 17% (from Yamagata and Yamanashi), Merlot 1% (from Yamagata) 
Type: Red
Style: Dry, full-bodied
Colour: Deep purple
Alcohol: 12.5%
Wild yeast: Yes
Any added sulphites: 30 ppm 
Filtered: No
Serving temperature: 15-18°C
Production: 11,526 bottles
Please store in a cool, dark place.

Tasting notes
Black cherry, blackcurrant, nutmeg, sandalwood, leather, smoke aromas. Well-balanced smooth tannins and acidity. Juicy, which betrays in a good way what the aroma suggests. Savouriness and good bitterness in aftertaste.

Food pairing
Sautéed Shiitake mushroom, asparagus with poached egg, pork rillettes, glaze-grilled conger eel, grilled cod milt, Japanese stuffed bell pepper, minced pork and cumin pasta, stir-fried liver and garlic chives, roast lamb, beef burgundy

The wine was made simply to bring out the best of the grapes. The ripe grapes were destemmed, lightly crushed and transferred to small tanks, where the must was gradually warmed up during remontage. After a couple of days, wild yeasts and wild lactic acid bacteria came into play and alcoholic and malolactic fermentation took place without any additions. Careful and continuous remontage extracted sufficient colour and flavour. After about two weeks, the must was pressed and then transferred to oak barrels for malolactic fermentation with wild lactic acid bacteria and matured for approximately 12-13 months. The wine was racked and bottled without fining or filtration. Until 2027, the wine will continue to have a cool, refreshing taste with fruit and fresh acidity, and from 2028, the tannins will become smoother with age, changing to savoury-driven taste.

The main variety, Tannat, is a grape variety that they came across during their journey to find the right grape variety for the right place in Japan, which began around 2000. Then, realising the potential of growing them in Japan, they asked a contract farmer in Yamagata to grow the grapes for the winery. Their experience and skill, as well as their compatibility with the land, enabled them to produce an excellent grape harvest within just a few years.

The 2016 vintage was selected for a luncheon during the Pope's visit to Japan in 2019.