What is it? How does one pronounce it?
The Zweigelt grape variety certainly has it’s share of identity problems. It is not very well known outside of some tiny corners of the wine world. And it’s name—rather clunky and unpoetic—doesn’t help attract followers. “Pinot noir” and “Chardonnay” sound delicious, mellifluous and rounded as the names roll off the tongue. Say “Zweigelt” and it sounds like you’re choking on a fish bone.
Which is all too, too unfortunate. Because Zweigelt (some call it “Zwei” to save time) is a very high quality red wine grape, uniquely suited to making wines of depth in the cold north of Hokkaido. The grape variety comes from Austria, where it was developed in the early 1900s by one Dr. Zweigelt (how’d you like to go through life with THAT name!). What Dr. Zweigelt was hoping to achieve via grape breeding we can only guess, but by crossing the St. Laurent and Blaufrankisch grape cultivars he ended up with an early ripening variety that yields (when done well) wines with excellent fruit, structure, color and aroma.
The 2016 COCO TOARU ZWEIGELT is our inaugural attempt with this wine from new vineyards planted in Yoichi’s Nobori sub-region. It is actually a blend of two vineyards…. The NAKAGAWA vineyard is “hidden” among a series of hills in Nobori’s northeast sector, a very sheltered spot with sandy soils and little wind. The KONISHI vineyard is in a far more exposed site, a hilltop overlooking the town of Yoichi and the Japan Sea.
In the cellar, in keeping with the Coco Toaru philosophy, the grapes were lightly crushed, fermented with wild yeasts at moderate temperatures, pressed gently, and then aged in a mix of wooden barrels and small-volume stainless steel tanks.
Nothing is added to the wine except a modicum of sulphur dioxide at bottling, and nothing is removed as we avoid the use of damaging filtration equipment.
We hope you enjoy our attempt at a Coco Toaru Zwei. We had great fun making the wine, and are encouraged by the results. A Votre santé！
Nakagawa vineyard, Nobori, Yoichi, Hokkaido
Konishi vineyard, Nobori, Yoichi, Hokkaido
26th～30th October 2016 (Nakagawa vineyard)
24th, 25th October 2016 (Konishi vineyard)
Bottled on : 19th 20th August 2018
The number of bottles : 5,547 (750ml)
Alcohol : 11.9 % Total acidity : 0.55 g/ 100 ml.
Residual Sugar : 0.04 %