Wine of the week: the otherworldly silkiness of Japanese koshu

Japan’s koshu grape is a hard one to love, but this fascinating wine has an otherworldly silkiness, says Matthew Jukes.

2018 Grace, Koshu Private Reserve, Yamanashi, Japan £20.95, thewhiskyexchange.com

This is the first time that I have felt moved to write up a koshu in this column. Japan’s most famous grape is a hard one to love. I have attended annual koshu tastings for a good few years and I have always felt rather depressed at the gallons of innocuous, feeble, hollow wines which are seemingly prized by koshu lovers. Water white, mildly soapy, short and dilute, this is a style of white wine that apparently goes beautifully with sushi and other Japanese fare and yet I cannot think of a wine style less capable of handling soy sauce, wasabi, teriyaki and other accompaniments to this heavenly style of cuisine.

Koshu tend to be expensive too and some, can you believe it, are oaked – this is a very delicate white grape which struggles with lees contact let alone the influence of a macho oak barrel! Anyway, I have remained open-minded and this year both my featured wine and also the 2018 Grace Koshu Kayagatake (£21.99, selfridges.com) passed muster, along with the 2019 vintages of both wines, given that they both possessed a lot more character than the other wines on show and also that I could imagine myself ordering a bottle in a restaurant.

With a flavour not unlike a feather-light albariño and with an otherworldly silkiness to the touch, these are fascinating wines. Stick to the Grace winery for the time being though – the others are far too feeble to warrant a second glance.

Recommended

Has passive investing created a stockmarket bubble?
Sponsored

Has passive investing created a stockmarket bubble?

Over the past two decades, investors have been switching from buying actively managed investment funds to buying passive funds that simply track a mar…
28 Sep 2021
Why are people panicking about fuel shortages?
UK Economy

Why are people panicking about fuel shortages?

With huge queues forming at petrol stations around the country, Saloni Sardana looks at the reasons behind the fuel shortage and asks how long it's l…
28 Sep 2021
Why investors should beware of corporate waffle
Investment strategy

Why investors should beware of corporate waffle

When top executives try to retreat behind impenetrable jargon, investors should be very sceptical, says John Stepek.
28 Sep 2021
Ensign Group: profiting from US private care
Trading

Ensign Group: profiting from US private care

Nursing and care-home specialist Ensign Group should thrive as Americans age. Matthew Partridge picks the best way to play it.
28 Sep 2021

Most Popular

A nightmare 1970s scenario for investors is edging closer
Investment strategy

A nightmare 1970s scenario for investors is edging closer

Inflation need not be a worry unless it is driven by labour market shortages. Unfortunately, writes macroeconomist Philip Pilkington, that’s exactly w…
17 Sep 2021
What really causes inflation? Here’s what prices since 1970 tell us
Inflation

What really causes inflation? Here’s what prices since 1970 tell us

As UK inflation hits 3.2%, Dominic Frisby compares the cost of living 50 years ago with that of today, and explains how debt drives prices higher.
15 Sep 2021
The times may be changing, but don’t change how you invest
Small cap stocks

The times may be changing, but don’t change how you invest

We are living in strange times. But the basics of investing remain the same: buy fairly-priced stocks that can provide an income. And there are few be…
13 Sep 2021