Nagano wine region, Japan (9) – Cantina Riezo

Jamie Goode's wine blog jamiegoode

Yasuyuki Yumoto (above) is inspired by Italy. He has a lovely small winery and vineyard in the northern part of Nagano prefecture, and he decided that this would be a great place for northern Italian varieties. And he prefers reds to whites, so selected Dolcetto and Barbera as his key grapes. He also has Merlot, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. He wanted to grow some Garganega, too, but has had problems with getting the material through quarantine.

Previously, Yasuyuki worked at Saint Coursair, and in 2007 he planted his first Merlot and Chardonnay vines. He has 0.7 hectares, and has been out to Italy to get inspiration for his work. The winery was established in 2015, and last vintage he put 7 tons of grapes through it. He uses 800 litre fermenters and 350 litre Gamba barrels.

The wines are delicious and are really well packaged.

Cantino Riezo Ciao Ciao Rosso 2016
This is Merlot. Lively and spicy and vivid with fresh raspberries and bright cherries. Has a nice spiciness. Supple, juicy and with a slight sappy edge. Very drinkable and a tiny bit rustic, but in a good way. 88/100

Cantino Riezo Strada Nuova Merlot 2015
Lovely fresh aromatic nose has vivid berries and some spice. Juicy, fresh and focused on the palate with vibrant cherry and plum fruit. Nice grip and freshness with a crunchy, savoury finish. 91/100

Cantino Riezo Sakura Sakura Barbera 2016
Vivid pink colour. Very fresh and intense with keen acidity, some cranberry notes and bright cherries. High acid. So bright. 87/100

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