In July my daughter and her boyfriend went to Japan and brought me back a bottle of wine. I have tried to find out the grape and vintage of the wine but have drawn a blank as the label is written in Japanese. This weekend my family are celebrating my daughter’s birthday, so I decided to open the Japanese wine. I didn’t decant it as I was unsure of the grape and decanting lighter wines is unnecessary ( I was unsure as to the body of the wine before I uncorked it but it turned out to be medium bodied.) Also, I was decanting another wine just in case the Japanese wine was not good. The colour of the wine was an attractive deep ruby. The nose took quite a while to develop in the glass, about 20 minutes. It was raspberry and liquorice and made me salivate. I was expecting high tannins on the palate, but I was wrong. On the palate, at first, it was disappointingly watery, no flavour and no tannins. Quite mineral like and more like a white wine, pleasant but no flavours came to the fore, perfectly acceptable with no harsh edges. I considered this to be a nice opener as I was serving the starter. I served the Japanese Nikko red wine with Bruschetta topped with goat’s cheese and fresh tomatoes. When I tasted the wine after the Bruschetta the flavour of the wine came through. It was medium bodied, extremely smooth. Raspberry, sour cherries with vanilla on the length. This wine has spent some time in oak. The wine became moreish and the bottle was divulged. It was followed by Carménère and steak and chips.  I would hazard a guess that the Japanese wine was Pinot noir. We all enjoyed this wine.

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