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Australian wine merchant in Tokyo

Asomaniac Dec 9, 2008 11:06 PM

Can anyone recommend a wine merchant in Tokyo that is particularly strong on Australian wines? I am specifically looking for higher end Riesling, around 10 years old. At most wine merchants', I tend to find that most of the Australian Rieslings they sell are perfectly pleasant, young 2,000 - 3,000 yen a bottle wines, which all taste pretty similar.

Many thanks.

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  1. r
    ruprecht25 RE: Asomaniac Dec 10, 2008 12:54 AM

    Village Cellars probably has the best selection of Australian wines in Japan. They are not located in Tokyo, but they ship here for a nominal fee.


    Though they offer dozens of Aussie rieslings, the oldest one is a 2003.

    14 Replies
    1. re: ruprecht25
      Asomaniac RE: ruprecht25 Dec 10, 2008 04:07 PM

      Brilliant - thank you very much!

      1. re: ruprecht25
        jem589 RE: ruprecht25 Dec 17, 2008 05:14 PM

        I was thinking the same thing about Semillon...and heard from a semi-reliable source that Village Cellars has an extraordinary amount of 'bin ends' in storage, so if you email them, they may well hook you up with something not in the catalog.

        More Tokyo food from me:

        1. re: jem589
          FourSeasons RE: jem589 Dec 17, 2008 06:10 PM

          Hi jem589:

          Notice you are new to the Japan Board. Welcome here!!! You have a very nice blog; I just bookmark it; I will definitely spend sometime reading it when I am free.

          1. re: FourSeasons
            lost squirrel RE: FourSeasons Dec 17, 2008 08:36 PM

            Aso, I told you about this earlier but for the sake of the rest of the board here is some news on what I was told is, "Tokyo's best stocked - secret wine shop"

            It's a place I've walked past many times, but never went in. Apparently, it's dingy conbini feel kept me at bay. I've been told that almost all the wines are highly rated and some rare bottles sold-out in Western countries are available here for list price!


            1. re: lost squirrel
              Robb S RE: lost squirrel Dec 17, 2008 09:30 PM

              I live very near there, and I'm almost certain that the location at that exact lat/lng (from the URL) has been a vacant lot for the past few months. I've never noticed a wine shop in that immediate neighborhood, although the dingy convenience store a few doors down does sell wine.

              1. re: Robb S
                lost squirrel RE: Robb S Dec 18, 2008 06:07 PM

                Coming from the small park in front of the "Designer's House" on the left hand side of the road, the shop is just past the parking lot.
                It's about halfway between the bar Costa Rica and the park, opposite (within a block) the cheap HK style Chinese place.

                It very well could be the ratty convenience store, a friend of mine went in one day and used his iPhone to check the Parker ratings on most of the wines and found most of them in the 98+ range.

                1. re: lost squirrel
                  Robb S RE: lost squirrel Dec 18, 2008 11:38 PM

                  Good heavens, it is the convenience store! The last time I bothered going in there they had a few dusty bottles of Yellowtail in the back, but now about half the shop is taken up by wines, with a pretty impressive selection.

                  Storage conditions seem less than impressive, but hopefully they keep the place well chilled in the summer.


                  1. re: Robb S
                    Uncle Yabai RE: Robb S Jan 12, 2009 12:17 AM

                    Stopped by just to check it out. It is called Bessho, and run by Masahiro Bessho-san. It has been in continous operation as a liquor/sake/wine shop since 1911, and Bessho-san is the 3rd generation to run things there. Dude is a major wine otaku, and could give a run for his money to Asomaniac on a mano-a-mano with no time limit.

                    1. re: Uncle Yabai
                      Robb S RE: Uncle Yabai Jan 12, 2009 01:39 AM

                      That's surprising, since the selection was rather limited as of a few years ago, although they did have some interesting and unusual stuff. (I've been in their dozens of times over the last twelve years, and have occasionally bought a bottle there.) Anyway, it's quite extensive now, and I'm happy to rediscover it.

                      1. re: Robb S
                        Uncle Yabai RE: Robb S Jan 12, 2009 02:26 AM

                        He told me that he got really interested in wines when he finished some oenology course in 2003 or so.

                        1. re: Uncle Yabai
                          Robb S RE: Uncle Yabai Jan 12, 2009 03:51 AM

                          Ah, that makes sense then.

                      2. re: Uncle Yabai
                        Asomaniac RE: Uncle Yabai Jan 20, 2009 09:54 PM

                        Brilliant, I will go and annoy the poor man one Saturday afternoon in the very near future. Or do you have any idea if the shop is open on Sundays?

                        1. re: Asomaniac
                          Robb S RE: Asomaniac Jan 21, 2009 01:33 AM

                          Website says "no"....

              2. re: FourSeasons
                lost squirrel RE: FourSeasons Dec 17, 2008 08:38 PM

                I'm not sure that map is working, but it's in Jingumae 2-chome.

          2. t
            thewinegirl RE: Asomaniac Jan 11, 2009 11:09 PM

            Try Jeroboam for an excellent range of Australian wines. They have a wine club where you can buy wine at a discounted price but you have to buy at least 6 bottles. Delivery is free though. www.jeroboam.co.jp

            1 Reply
            1. re: thewinegirl
              mi66 RE: thewinegirl Aug 30, 2009 07:10 PM

              I have just returned from tokyo to sapporo and did find the Bessho-san's wine shop. AMAZING!!! A must place to visit and an amazing guy who owns and runs the place. The guy is SO down to earth its great. He just loves wine regardless of where its from and what scores its got, its all about what's in the bottle. Guys like this have to be supported as they are the true independents - they buy what is good and sell the passion. Anyone who lives in Tokyo and loves wine should at least visit it adn support it. In a world/country full of department stores and shopping malls here is a small guy doing something great!

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