This is another good wine bar located in the Minami district in Osaka. It is close to the other wine bar I posted about, Pinot Noir. This one is in a basement and you just walk down a few steps from the street. Mr Seiji Takamiya opened this wine bar in july 2001 after working several years at Enoteca in Umeda, osaka. Enoteca is btw close to another top place for wine : the Ritz Carlton Osaka which has the best well-stocked restaurant and bar in regard to wine in town, although with Alpine prices which pair well with Umeda's high rises...The Wine Spectator noted as outstanding the 400-bottle wine list of its Splendido restaurant, and its bar has a similarly exceptional whisky and wine list. This is another proof of Osaka's epicurean extravaganza made possible by its age-old opulent merchant class. When Mr Takamiya became a Sommelier in 1991, the profession was very little-known in Japan but still, the Union of Japanese Sommeliers is 30 years old today. The wine-bar boom came later and with it the use of "sommeliers" for all kind of non-wine-related fields...
We sat down along this long and narrow bar. The decoration : Sober, with black tones. The aircon is a bit noisy. The owner tolds us about the vineyards near Kyoto (Tamba vineyards) and also about the ones near Kobe. He has a rich wine culture and speaks about the situation of wine in Japan today. He evoques the smaller, lesser-known wine regions of Japan. He feels interest right now for the Oku-Izumo vineyards, this estate is located north from here in the Shimane prefecture, in an area very dear to the Japanese mythology. This is the region where the Izumo Taisha shrine sits, a region full of spirits. wine is sort of alien to this historic background but the winery seems to capitalize on the natural forces : the only Romanji words on the winery's booklet (after the winery's name) are " symbiosis with nature". Mr Takamiya says that the Okuizumo Chardonnay is particularly good. He plans to visit the winery next april.
The other reds were : Cotes du Roussillon les Sorcières 2004 at 1000 Yen, Sassaolero 2002 at 1300 Yen, a Clos Badon Thunevin 2002 at 1500 Yen, an Arrayan Syrah 2003 (Spain) at 1400 Yen.
The bottle list is pretty extensive. Just a few details : Bordeaux : about 10 Saint-Estèphe wines, between 10 000 and 44 000 Yen (1000 Yen makes 6,44 Euro or 10 USD) . Further : 29 (sic!) Pauillac wines between 9000 and 248 000 Yen, about the same range of Saint Julien wines, 8 Margaux from 13 800 to 49 800 Yen, 9 Pomerol wines, from 10 000 to 345 000 Yen (Petrus 1985), including La Conseillante 1998 at 30 000 Yen. Burgundy : 2 Chablis (14 000 & 18 000 Yen), 3 white Corton wines ( 21 000 to 36 800 Yen), 5 Meursault ( 9000 to 17 000 Yen), 2 Chassagne-Montrachet (11 500 & 17 800 Yen), plus other Burgundy whites. A few names picked from the red-Burgundies list : Magnien, Lambrays, Gros, Prieuré Roch, Lescure, Cathiard, Jadot, Sabre/Pacalet, Parent, Mikulski...
Alsace : 5 wines, mostly from Deiss. 3 from the Loire, 6 from the Rhone, 25 Champagne including 2 from Krug (Grande Cuvée - 22 000 Yen , Vintage 1985 - 80 000 Yen ). and the other from Egly-Ouriet, Beaumont des Crayères, Pehu-Simonet, Lenoble, Lanson, Roederer.
The rest of the world : Italy (Piemont, Tuscanny), Japan (Mercian) with for example Mercian Koshu Kiiroka 2005 at 4000 Yen, 3 German wines (Pfalz and Rheingau) : Forster Ungeheuer Riesling Spatlese Trocken 2002 at 6000 Yen, Ottes Lorcher Kapellenberg Riesling Spatlese trocken 2004 at 6000 Yen and Forster Stift Rieslaner Auslese 2004 at 6800 Yen.
America : 11 California wines : Chimney Rock fumé blanc 2004 at 5800 yen, Calera Viognier Mt Harlan 2005 at 10 000 yen, Newton Unfiltered Chardonnay 2003 at 10 000 yen, Ravenswood Oldsvin Zinfandel 2004 at 6800 Yen, Robert Mondavi Carneros Pinot Noir 1999 at 7000 Yen, Ehlers Cabernet Sauvignon 2001 at 7000 Yen, Chimney Rock Cabernet Sauvignon 2003 at 10 800 Yen, Calera Mills Mt Harlan Pinot Noir 1998 at 16 300 Yen, Opus One 1998 at 55 800 Yen, Opus One 2001 at 50 000 Yen, Opus One 2003 at 43 000 Yen.
Australia : 8 wines ( Wolf Blass, Coldstream Hills and Penfolds Grange Hermitage.