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The 12 wines from The Drops of God

Since 2004, two Japanese manga authors have featured 12 fine wines in hit comic series called The Drops of God – and we reveal their choices.

Kami no Shizuku_First Volume_HKVersion_CoverThe wines are the called ‘The 12 Apostles’ in the weekly manga, and were selected by the authors following informal tastings at home.

The labels are integral to the story, which centres on two brothers scouring the world to track down the ‘Apostles’, which will give them access to their late father’s million-dollar cellar.

The Drops of God phenomenon has gripped Asia and increasingly the West since its publication in 2004, and last month, the authors of the weekly Manga – brother and sister Shin and Yuko Kibayashi – were named named as the recipients of 2016’s Asian Wine Personality award from ourselves and Vinexpo.

Any wines named in connection with the series see a sharp increase in interest across Asia, particularly Japan and Korea.

The wines are mostly from the great wine regions of France, although labels from Spain, Italy and California feature in the selection, which can be viewed over the following pages, including a thirteenth wine, or The Drops of God wine.

Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru Les Amoureuses 20011. Chambolle-Musigny Premier Cru Les Amoureuses 2001, Domaine Georges & Christophe Roumier

The ‘first apostle’ was a red Burgundy from Domaine Georges Roumier.

Average price (according to Wine Searcher, without tax): £830

chateau-palmer-margaux-19992. Château Palmer 1999

For the second apostle, the Kibayashis moved to Bordeaux and selected this celebrated third growth property in Margaux.

Average price (according to Wine Searcher, without tax): £180

 

pegau-domaine-du3. Châteauneuf-du-Pape Cuvée Da Capo 2000, Domaine du Pegau

Staying within France, the third apostle was from the southern Rhône – a Grenache-dominant blockbuster with a 100-point Robert Parker score.

Average price (according to Wine Searcher, without tax): £480

chateau-lafleur-19944. Château Lafleur 1994

For the fourth apostle, the Manga authors moved back to Bordeaux, and selected this Pomerol from a tiny property opposite the more famous Château Petrus. The best wines of the 1994 vintage in Bordeaux are widely thought to come from Pomerol.

Average price (according to Wine Searcher, without tax): £280

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru 2000, Michel Colin-Deléger et Fils5. Chevalier-Montrachet Grand Cru 2000, Michel Colin-Deléger et Fils

A white Burgundy featured as the fifth apostle, with the Kibayashis choosing one of the finest producers in Chevalier-Montrachet, a prized Côte de Beaune appellation that is located just above the even more rarified Grand Cru Le Montrachet.

Average price (according to Wine Searcher, without tax): £780

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Barolo Cannubi Boschis 2001, Luciano Sandrone6. Barolo Cannubi Boschis 2001, Luciano Sandrone

The first wine to feature from outside France was a Barolo from Italy’s Piedmont, and from one of the region’s most respected producers, Luciano Sandrone, who is famous for making an approachable style with great ageing capacity.

Average price (according to Wine Searcher, without tax): £150

The Inaugural Eleven Confessions Syrah 2003, Sine Qua Non7. The Inaugural Eleven Confessions Syrah 2003, Sine Qua Non

The seventh apostle was the authors’ first New World wine (and the most expensive in the series): California’s Sine Qua Non – a highly collectible and cult New World Rhône grape specialist. This is the only other wine in the list to receive a perfect Robert Parker score of 100 points (the other being a wine that is from the Rhône: the Third Apostle, Domaine du Pegau from Châteauneuf-du-Pape).

Average price (according to Wine Searcher, without tax): £1400

champagne-exquise-selosse8. Jacques Selosses Cuvée Exquise NV

The only Champagne to feature as an apostle was this cuvée from Jacques Selosse, probably the French sparkling wine appellation’s most controversial producer. Notably, the Kibayashis chose the Exquise, which is a pure Chardonnay demi-sec Champagne, with a 24g/l sugar level, by far the sweetest in the range from a house famous for its very low dosages (or sweetness levels).

Average price (according to Wine Searcher, without tax): £135

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brunello di Montalcino 2005, Poggio di Sotto9. Brunello di Montalcino 2005, Poggio di Sotto

Then it was back to Italy for a Brunello, which came from Poggio di Sotto, a highly respected producer that takes a traditional approach to Sangiovese in this great region, and, indeed, is thought to have produced the wine of the vintage in 1995.

Average price (according to Wine Searcher, without tax): £120

 

sirugue10. Grands Echezeaux Grand Cru 2002, Robert Sirugue

For the 10th apostle, the authors returned to Burgundy and chose a wine from the great 2002 vintage from Grands Echezeaux, which neighbours Echezeaux, source of the Pinot Noir that kick-started their passion for wine: 1985 Echézeaux from Domaine de la Romanée-Conti.

Average price (according to Wine Searcher, without tax): £60

ferrer bobet
Picture source: newlifestylewine.com

11. Ferrer Bobet Selecció Especial 2008

The penultimate apostle was from Spain’s Priorat region – the only wine from Spain in the list. The wine is made from almost entirely from 100-year-old Carignan and earned 96 points from The Wine Advocate. 

Average price (according to Wine Searcher, without tax): £60

Château d’Yquem 1976
Picture source: mywinesandmore.blogspot.co.uk

12. Château d’Yquem 1976

And the final apostle, and sole sweet wine, was the great Sauternes: Château d’Yquem. The Kibayashis opted for a fully mature wine from the great 1976 vintage, an extremely hot year that produce intensely sweet Sauternes.

Average price (according to Wine Searcher, without tax): £465

The 13th wine or The Drops of God wine was, in fact, not revealed in the Manga – the series finished by stating that every person has his own Drops of God bottle, as every person’s taste is different.

le-puy-2003
Picture source: bordeaux-undiscovered.co.uk

However, in the Japanese TV adaptation of the series, the 13th wine was Chateau Le Puy 2003, which was widely criticised.

And, as reported by db at the time, the winemaker at the Right Bank property in the Côte de Francs, Jean-Pierre Amoreau, actually withdrew the wine from circulation in Japan.

He explained to a French radio station that he wanted to “avoid speculation because we wanted this wine, which had been chosen as a mythical wine, to remain within reach of everyone.”

Average price (according to Wine Searcher, without tax): NA, but the average price across the vintages available is £35 – making it the cheapest wine in the series.

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