In May Marks & Spencer became the first UK supermarket to list a Japanese wine, and it looks like the wine is set to become a summer hit with customers according to industry trade magazine Harpers and The Scotsman newspaper.
In the last week, both publications recognised this rising star, with illuminating articles about Sol Lucet (meaning “the sun shines”), a wine made from Japan’s indigenous Koshu grape by the Kurambon winery. Harpers reported that the wine was ‘going down well’ with M&S shoppers and a representative of the popular retail chain said sales were "really good."
In The Scotsman, Rose Murray Brown reviewed the wine, remarking first on its “very attractive label” and then on its “light floral nose, hint of citric fruits…crisp, lively acidity with lemongrass undertones.” She concluded that its delicate style would “suit those who prefer Muscadet to Montrachet.”
M&S buyer Emma Dawson explained to Harpers how this fitted into their on-going initiative to match wines with food: “We selected this particular Koshu because it displays the grape variety really well, with dazzling lemongrass flavours that match brilliantly with sushi and Japanese food.”
The Koshu grape thrives in the region of Yamanashi and its refreshing, mineral qualities are reported to be the result of the extremes of hot and cold and the areas volcanic soils. The grapes are farmed at the foot of Mount Fuji and are subject to an eccentric viticultural practice which involves shading the individual bunches of grapes from the sun with paper parasols.
So, while the sun still has its hat on, maybe it’s time to learn a thing or two from the land of the rising sun and start drinking Koshu.