So I felt really bad, trashing my first Japanese red. I mean, I'd been brought up on big Californian and Oregon wines, where the have everything going for them - climate, economy, lots of thirsty wineaholics. These Japanese grapes, they struggled. Not the California "my owner planted me in rocks and didn't water me for a while for the flavor", but really struggled for survival - against the tsuyu in June, the typhoons in September, all sorts of mold in between, and, worst of all - against the much higher prices that table grapes (i.e. those sold as fruit) command. (Remember, this is the land of $100 melons.) Pure economics - farmers prefer to sell their best grapes as fruit, not as wine; ergo the egregious practice of leaving the spoiled / unsellable ones for winemaking. Thankfully, this practice has been slowly changing as the Japanese drink more wine.
Plus I opened it with a great deal of prejudice; twasn't fair. I decided to retest the red with what it's made for - sushi. A few slices of salmon and crab, my favorites.
And it bombs. Once again.
That's it - we're going back and getting the best full-bodied Japanese red they have, and if that still bites, we're calling the red winemaking off.