Japanese Winemakers in France
Throughout the last several years, Japan's love affair with wines have led to several passionate enthusiasts to take up winemaking in France, training under prominent vignerons and eventually starting their own small independent domaines making tiny parcels of exceptional wines, often with natural winemaking a key part of their philosophy. Hirotake Ooka and Kenjiro Kagami in Cornas and Jura respectively are just two great examples of the success brought about from their pursuit for Japanese perfection in French vineyards, and the fact that their tiny production is sold out year on year and in many top Michelin star restaurants, is just testament of the quality of their wines. We have been fortunate enough to acquire this tiny collection below of their outstanding wines, all of which showcase their raw talent in discovering and expressing great terroir in a bottle.
Hirotake ooka, rhone valley
“There’s a lot of passion in his bottles,” said Alice Feiring, author of The Feiring Line, a newsletter about natural wines. “I find, like the best of hard-core natural wines, they are wild but compelling. It’s easy to assign human characteristics to his wines.”
~ New York Times May 24, 2013
Kenjiro KAGAMI, jura
Kenjiro Kagami was very kind and uncorked a number of bottles from his very small stock, including a revelatory 2016 Ja-Naï Poulsard, which to me takes the grape to new heights. It is a symphony of blood oranges, watermelon and lilies, with an ethereal quality to it, elegant and with great freshness....
~Luis Gutiérrez, Wine Advocate