My Dear Kind Sippers,
In an attempt to banish the impression that Sake is strictly for your sushi-related enjoyment, we’re hosting a tasting of downright poetic Sakes this Sunday, June 24th. Our friend and sometime wine explainer Valerie Verkerke will be here telling you what these tasty rice wines are all about, and you’ll be eating dishes far more diverse than California rolls. Our tasting costs a mere $30 for both food and drink, and you’ll be offered a discount on the ones you like. These clean, elegant Sakes are a perfect foil for long, hot summer that lies ahead.
Kanbara “Bride of the Fox” Junmai Ginjo, Niigata 300 ml $17.00 720 ml $38.00
Intense aromas of grilled nuts, pistachio, and a hint of white chocolate. Flavors of nuts and ripe honeydew explode at the front and finishes crisp with a hint of lingering sweetness. Niigata prefecture is one of just a handful of prefectures to have a self-managed AOC-type system which requires the use of local rice, water, traditional techniques, and blind tasting. The name of this wonderful sake was inspired by local legends about mysterious lights that appeared on nearby Mt. Kirin in the distantpast. ~ Tanzer 91 Pts
Chiyonosono “Sacred Power” Junmai Ginjo, Kumamoto 300 ml $20.00 720 ml $42.00
Rich, full-flavored sake with fresh-cut green grass aromas and hints of tropical fruits with cantaloupe. The mouthfeel is silky with mango and baked pear flavors and suggestions of crème brulee. Though the sweetness is kind to the palate with excellent acidity leading all the way to the finish.
Sato No Homare “Pride of the Village” Junmai Ginjo, Ibaraki 300 ml $24.00 720 ml $50.00
With aromas of violet, strawberry, pear and Muscat grape governing the nose, complex flavors of licorice, mint and pears emphasize the semi-dry impact of this medium-bodied sake. Though the acidity is clean and bright, gentle licorice sweetness takes it all the way to the lengthy finish. No doubt a controversial style for its exaggerated aromatic qualities. From the oldest active brewery in Japan, operating since the year 1141.
Rikahu “Dreamy Clouds” Tokubetsu Junmai Ginjo, Shimane 300 ml $17.00 720 ml $36.00
This Nigori is quite special because its milling rate of 41% technically qualifies it as Junmai Ginjo grade sake- a rare quality level for a nigori (cloudy) sake. The nose is led by steamed rice, fresh red plums, and suggestions of roasted peanuts. Bright and lean in the mouth, unlike many Nigori, and the impact is chewy with sweet rice flavors intermingling with the nutty and slightly fruity characteristics of the sake.
Tozai “Living Jewel” Junmai, Kyoto 300 ml $11.00 720 ml $18.00
The aromas of white grape, anise, and a hint of sweet rice are quite complex. These same flavors come rushing through the medium-bodied palate which has a slightly creamy texture followed by a hint of white pepper and fresh herbal notes. The long, clean finish makes this a great sippping sake as well as a companion to a wide range of foods.
Konteki “Pearls of Simplicity” Junmai Diaginjo 720 ml $42.00
Clear. Aromas of banana custard and praline follow through on a supple, silky entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body with excellent smoothness and integration of flavors. Finishes with nice interplay of spice, dried apples and bananas, toffee, and earth notes.