The Yamazaki 18 opens with picnic lunch in a dappled grassy meadow, with you passed out full frontal on top of a fruit salad. As the sun beats down harder from the heavens, you stir, and roll over face first into a not-yet-dressed salad heavy on the arugula, sprinkled liberally with bamboo shoots and indifferently masticated eucalyptus leaves, lovingly regurgitated by a pregnant koala suffering morning sickness. There’s dust, but not the outdoor pollen-dense dust, but rather the dust that’s accumulated in odd nooks in a Venetian palazzo. Or maybe old-growth mahogany dust, wafting off of a table leg being worked on slowly and precisely by a Ningen Kokuhō, a Living National Treasure of Japan. That is, if a Ningen Kokuhō swigged sherry and whistled whilst he worked. Hai ho, hai ho, it’s off to the mouth we go!
Smooth, balanced, light. A concerned orthodontic surgeon at a teaching hospital working with a talented hygienist who is secretly lusting for romance, who dreams of plucking harps strung with golden and silver strands, making Merrie Melodies as bards of yore were wont to do, the both of them working a kind of novacaine magic in your mouth. A slight heat, as of a low-hung westering sun poking through the branches surrounding the meadow. (You may wonder how you went from the meadow to the dentist, and back to the meadow. I wonder also, but am so enamored of the gentle,yet authoritative, pond-ripplings of the dram, that I allow it to take me where it will.) Boysenberry syrup, angelic effluences, flower nectar, delightful diminishings of the dust, as of putting your nose to the f-hole of an Amati violin. Feel the Cremona resin!
The Yamazaki 18 is, of course, the first movement of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik—Bum, bum bum, bum-bum-bum-bum-bum Bum! Bum! Bum bum! Bum bum bum bum-bum-bum. Bum bum, bee ah dee doo dee bum bum!
Our thanks to Yoshihiro Morita and the good people at Suntory for the samples!