Exclusively at dekantā
The first private label release of Japanese wine from the dekantā cellar is a full-bodied red represented by the alluring cat geisha, who brings the decadent luxuries and entertainments of Japan’s Edo period. This is a fantastic wine that’ll take your holiday gathering to another level.
A Subversive Luxury
During the Edo period of the 17th – 19th centuries, Japan was experiencing huge economic growth and new cultural and social developments. The merchant class was growing, and had wealth to spend on entertainments and luxuries. Concerned that their political hold was waning, the Tokugawa Shogunate introduced strict censorship laws banning the representation of kabuki actors, courtesans and geisha. These professions were considered subversive, and a danger to society, as they were seen to promote luxuries that society could not afford.
Masters of the Japanese ukiyo-e style, seeking to protect freedom of expression, found an ingenious way to get around these laws. They illustrated famous courtesans, geishas, and kakubi actors as anthropomorphised animal characters. These prints were hugely popular, often parodying real events and people, and included visual clues to identify the true identity of the subject. There was huge public fascination in the stars of Kabuki theatre and the beautiful courtesans and geishas, and the censorship seemed to only fan the flames of their popularity.
Full of Character
The geisha is a Japanese entertainer, skilled at various Japanese arts, such as classical Japanese music, dancing and poetry. A well-respected occupation, which takes months or years to master, at the time of these reforms, geishas were considered a threat to public morals. Our cat geisha draws upon the ukiyo-e woodblock style of art, and is a homage to the artists who used their ingenuity to continue their work through this period.
The cat, in Japanese culture, has long been a symbol of good fortune. Beginning in the sixth century, Buddhist monks travelling from China to Japan brought domestic cats onboard their ships, as they believed this would bring good luck and would protect the scriptures, relics and drawings they had on board. Cats have since featured prominently in Japanese art, and are highly respected creatures in Japanese culture.
Suited to Impeccable Japanese Taste
This is a full-bodied dry Japanese red wine from Katashimo, one of the few wineries remaining in Osaka, and one that still maintains conventional winemaking methods to produce wine that that suits the Japanese taste. This release marries the sweet berry fragrance of Muscat Bailey A with the smoothness of Merlot. Muscat Bailey A is a hybrid variety of the Bailey grape and the Muscat Hamburg grape, designed to withstand extremes of the Japanese climate.
Rich and full-bodied, the Geisha Neko 2016 is bursting with notes of red and black fruit, including strawberries, blackberries, and plums. The palate delivers some dry spice and liquorice, before a gentle dryness comes in on the finish, delivered with a full and satisfying mouth feel.