Hibiki, Hakushu, and Yamazaki, take your pick. Suntory creates many of the legendary whisky ranges we all know and love, but that’s not all the company has to offer.
In Japan, the drinks giant produces everything from beer to bottled green tea. On a global scale, their amazing whisky and most recently, their artisanal Japanese gin, are the products the company is best known for.
Now, to the surprise of many, Suntory’s wine has started amassing multiple awards at expert wine competitions.
This summer, at the Japan Wine Competition 2017, the company’s wines won not one, not two, but five Gold Medals.
By Suntory’s Tomi No Oka Winery, the Tomi Red 2012 was awarded a Gold Medal and the Grand Prize in the Vinifera Red category. The Tomi series is the company’s flagship wine range and is produced in Japan’s Yamanashi Prefecture, using the finest quality grapes.
The other wines by Suntory to receive Gold Medals were:
Suntory Japan Premium Iwadarehara Merlot 2013
This beauty is made using only Merlot grapes grown in the Iwadarehara region of Shiojiri City. Maturation in French oak barrels brings forth a dark fruit-heavy palate, with hints of deep coffee and concentrated fruit juice.
Suntory Japan Premium Shiojiri Muscat Bailey A Mizunara 2013
The Muscat Grape A variety used in this expression is also grown in Shiojiri City. The rich, fruity sweetness of the wine is intensified by its maturation in Mizunara oak, which brings forth subtle, aromatic coconut notes.
Suntory Japan Premium Takayamamura Chardonnay 2016
Produced using Chardonnay grapes from Nagano, this expression brings forth abundant citrus, atop a fresh, crisp, and light foundation. Gentle hints of oak are evident throughout.
Suntory Japan Premium Tsugaru Sauvignon Blanc 2016
The Sauvignon Blanc grapes here come from Aomori Prefecture, and make this wine green and fruity. A balance of semi-sweet and dry, this is an exceptional expression from Japan.
On an international scale, Suntory’s Tomi White 2014 won a Gold award at the prestigious Les Citadelles du Vin 2017, a French international wine competition. The aforementioned Tomi Red 2012 took home a silver medal.
It seems that Suntory wine is slowly but surely rising in the world of wine, with many different brands and expressions. As with most Japanese crafts, the quality and production of the wine are the priority, with grape selection and maturation carried out to the highest standard.
It took a while, but look at the amazing status Japanese whisky enjoys today. Let’s hope Japan’s wine gets there faster.