Posted by: jmbwineblog | May 13, 2010

Tokyo Wine Drinking… Parte Un

It’s been a while, and I am still probably getting over my Political Rant, and am still annoyed by many of the political musings and mudslinging that is still going on… to the point where it nearly put my return to London (with my fiancee) in jeopardy. Regardless, we have returned, the Cabinet has been made… although it is dissappointing that George Osbourne is Chancellor instead of Kenneth Clarke, I am pleased that Old Ken has a top job in the Cabinet. Regardless, this post is about wine, and I’m not going to have any of those irritating political activists get in my way this time… well at least not until the next General Election. Get on with it… you have a Government, so instead of attacking them start lobbying them in your interest.

Right, here goes…

Well, you will have seen my post about the little Petit Chateau Bordeaux that I posted about in a little musing about not letting the little guys slip away under your breathe when thinking about Bordeaux, well after that I think I only had one other Bordeaux and it was a big one… more on that later. Firstly a little note about a wine company from Japan called Enoteca ( and don’t worry you can change the title page into English if you can’t speak Nihongo! Anyway, whilst I wouldn’t recommend buying your wine from them, as the prices are very high, they often allow you to pay to drink either a bottle or samples from bottles that they have previously opened, and they often do these at competitive prices. For example, most samples/glasses are about 1,500 Yen (£7/8 approx.) or less, and for 2000 Yen (£10 approx.) you can sample some really tasty stuff…

As an example a little while ago, for 4000 Yen over two occasions, I was able to try 1989 and 1990 Chateau Doisy Vedrines, 1991 Chateau D’Yquem and 2007 Chateau Mouton Rothschild. Not a bad selection for the money, and they regularly do deals to get people to come into the shop. So first of all, whilst waiting to meet some friends, we popped into the Ginza Store where they have a fairly large bar (and unfortunately some fairly stuck-up staff, who claim to know everything about everything… uh-hum!) we purchased a sample each for 1,300 Yen of 2004 Momoretto, Marchesi Frescobaldi:

plum, sweet, cherry, crystalline, earth, minerals, truffles, mushroom, iron, rusty nails: plump and enjoyable but young! A touch of unressolved oak makes the finish hard but  it has the fruit (although ripe) to age for another 5+ years! ***(**+?) But I can’t tell whether it will get that much better than it is.

On this night we moved on to meet our friends and left behind serious wine discussions for another night. Going on to taste the two wines I mentioned before at a friends bar in Ebisu called Giji (my notes can be found here; A reminder that the little guys can make enjoyable wine as well!!!) because those wines were also to some extent little guys that warm the cockles of your heart when you find enjoyment in the wines.

A few days later, having tried a great number of other things such as tea, and sake, which I will post about later on, I visited a much smaller, quieter Enoteca, the ANA Intercontinental Hotel Branch in Roppongi/Akasaka, where the Sommelier is knowledgeable, friendly and always willing to listen and discuss wines at leisure. There are generally not many customers so you can drink at leisure! On this day we had a great deal. 2000 Yen and 5 Tip Top Italian Wines…

Franciacorta; Riserva 'Vittorio Moretti' Bellavista 2002

Very high quality, mineral, earth, asparagus, ripe apples, licquorice, very young. Long herbal, herby finish. Needs time but is really lovely, and would give any good Champagne a run for its money. ****(*+) [2012-2020+] A wine that I do not have a lot of experience with, but this producer has made some wines I think are excellent from top to bottom, but the prices are certainly competing with Champagne, but based on the quality, who am I to complain.

Dreams; Jermann 2006

Oak, toast, butter nose. Minerals and a bit of heat, but not huge. Grass, herbs… nice freshness but quality v. price?? ****(*) [Now-2015+] A producer who always make nice, powerful, impressive wines, but for the price, you can find better Chardonnays than this in my opinion.

2006 Le Pergole Torte; Montevertine

Herbs, perfume, ripe and open already, and appealing on the nose. Minerals, plum, rich, bramble, iron, rusty nail. dust. Herbs, elegant but ripe. Very nice, but has certainly got time on its side, and has nice concentration, herby, wet soil, tobacco, cedar finish. *****(*+?) [Now-2020+] A big Super Tuscan but elegant at the same time, from a good vintage, this is a serious wine and well worth what you’d pay for it in terms of enjoyment, and it has the potential to improve. A winner that’s for sure.

2001 Langhe Nebbiolo; Sperss; Angelo Gaja

From Gaja’s famous Sperss vineyard in the heart of the Barolo commune; slightly closed nose; wild strawberry, cassis, plum, earth, tar, ready to go on the palate. Wood, tobacco, rust, soil, balanced, bramble, perfume, truffle, wood, earth, blackcurrant, plum finish. Needs another 10 years to really get going, but will be enjoyable in a few more surprisingly (Barbera in the blend??) Long long finish, elegant, fresh and regal. *****(**) [2012-2040+] A wine I’ve been dying to try, when this was still officially a Barolo it would take an age to open up, but this is almost ready to go, halves would be drinking fairly well, but in 10 years it should be really wonderful. Perhaps the Barbera in the blend has made recent concoctions of these wines more approachable in their youth. Although I still found the 98 tight and uncompromising.

2006 Sassicaia; Bolgheri Sassicaia; Tenuta San Guido

Very closed nose, green, tight knit and concentrated. A touch of plum, wood. Red plum, cassis, earth. Highly concentrated palate, soft tannins, refreshing acidity and fruit. Mineral, earth, plum finish. Needs serious time… should be fantastic. POISED! (with time herbs and pure red fruit evolve, but still tight, iron, rusty nail, wild strawberry and raspberry, long tight finish. Herbal, rosemary and thyme) ***(***[*?]) [2025-2040+] A wonderfully balanced, and poised wine, that will need a serious amount of time to really unfurl; riper than 97s, they may come around earlier, but have at least the same potential and will really be fantastic with proper storage. Time will tell.

After this… to be continued!


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