Petit Manseng 2020

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Ashikaga, Tochigi

Grapes: Petit Manseng 100%
Type: White
Style: Dry, medium-bodied
Colour: Medium gold
Alcohol: 11.5%
Wild yeast: Yes
Any added sulphites: 27 ppm 
Filtered: No
Serving temperature: 10-13°C
Production: 2,890 bottles
Please store in a cool, dark place.

Tasting notes
Apple, quince, pineapple, butter, cream, honey and dried apricot. Great balance of ample acidity, concentrated flavours of citrus and quince. Slight citrusy bitterness can be found. A hint of gunflint and UMAMI that make the finish long.

Food pairing
Fondue, fried oysters, fried fish with a sprinkling of lemon, flounder and citrus carpaccio, seafood risotto, grilled chicken with mustard, spare ribs, sweet and sour pork, Tom Yam Kung, spring roll, blue cheese tart.

Grapes in whole bunch were gently pressed and placed in stainless steel tanks for four to five days at about 18°C to preserve the aromas of the grapes, then transferred to oak barrels for about 10 days to three months to ferment with wild yeasts and to encourage malolactic fermentation with wild lactic acid bacteria. Part of the grapes were hand destemmed and fermented for about three weeks. The wine was then matured in oak barrels for 8-9 months, racked and bottled unfined and unfiltered. Until 2025 will continue to have fresh acidity and fruitiness. To enjoy the ripe aromas, it is recommended to savour the wine slowly in a large glass while enjoying the temperature changes; from 2026 to 2030, the fruit aromas will settle down with age and the flavour will improve with increased savouriness and concentration.

Why Petit Manseng in Japan? 
Summers in Ashikaga, Tochigi, northern Kanto region, are hot and humid anyway. Incidentally, in 2020, 28 extremely hot days with a maximum temperature of 35°C or more were recorded at the neighbouring observatory in Sano. In general, grapes are more susceptible to disease when the days are too hot, as the acidity in the fruit decreases, and white wines in particular tend to taste flat. For the winery, it was everyone's wish to produce grapes that would not be affected by climatic changes such as extreme heat and heavy rain, and to produce good wine grapes of the right variety for the right place in the right climate in the northern Kanto region. In order to realise this wish, around 1990, a journey began to research and visit wine-growing regions around the world and to actually taste the grapes. On this journey, they came across Petit Manseng at the foot of the Pyrenees mountains.

They thought the grapes would have a moderate acidity in Ashikaga and would make a reasonably well-balanced white wine. With this prediction, they started growing Petit Manseng in 2006. The vines grew well, with the Ashikaga heat producing ripe fruit with a tropical feel, while retaining a delicious acidity. They are very excited about the resulting wines and the possibilities for the future.