A wine that we keep re-stocking whenever it comes available, Kusuda is probably one of the most popular and most Burgundy-like wine from New Zealand. The owner Hiro Kusuda started as a lawyer and later became a diplomat which granted him opportunities to travel the world and opened his eyes to wine. After years of travelling, he decided he wanted to set up his own vineyard in Martinborough, New Zealand. He first went to school in Germany to learn all about winemaking before he took on various jobs at vineyards in New Zealand, Australia as well as in Burgundy to get more hands-on experience. It was in 2006 that he started to make his own wines with very limited quantities produced and mainly supplied to the Japanese market. The popularity of their wines is not surprising if you read how meticulous they are in the winemaking process, as per Bob Campbell, Master of Wine -
'I visited him over vintage and was witness to the most rigorous grape selection process I have ever seen. A group of Japanese people had flown down at their own expense to pick and sort grapes for Hiro. They were variously introduced as a poet, a wine school head, an owner of many restaurants, a top sommelier etc. Each berry was inspected for any flaw and removed if not perfect. The process seemed to take several minutes per bunch. Hiro invited me to compare the taste of a grape with a tiny scar against a perfect berry. I could detect no difference and suggested he make wine from the reject berries and compare it with the mother wine. He explained "even if there is only 5% difference, it is enough".'
Nowadays, Kusuda's Pinot Noir is one of the most difficult-to-find Pinot Noir in the world. Only about 6,000 bottles are made every year and due to strong demand in Hiro’s home country Japan - it is not even listed on Wine-Searcher! As far as we know, some Kusuda Pinot Noir is served in JAL airlines' first-class cabins, so if you have any chance to take their flights, do not forget to check if they have Kusuda and order a glass or two!
It is a very shrewd buy for those looking at world-class Pinot Noir from New Zealand, please don’t hesitate to let me know if you’d like any secured:
Kusuda Pinot Noir 2017
HK$1,250 per bottle
12 bottles available
ETA 6-8 weeks
Subject to final confirmation. Available in 4-6 weeks.
Delivery is free-of-charge for single purchases above HK$3,000 or 6 bottles (or accumulated amount at time of delivery); otherwise, a standard delivery fee of HK$80 applies.
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