New Store Arrivals – Toko, Manotsuru, Dishichi, Aizu Homare, Katsumi Tsuru
Toko “Sun Rise”
From Yamagata Prefecture. Junmai Ginjo. SMV: +1 Acidity: 1.2
The nose on this sake from a legendary brewery founded in 1579 is a very gentle collection of Granny Smith apple, melon, pear, and snowmelt. We are very pleased to have Toko in the US sake market. It’s been a long time in the making and we are glad that they are here, especially with a super elegant Junmai Ginjo that drinks so very balanced and tasty. Gentle, clean, soft, and light this brew drinks easy but very sophisticated. There is an almost Nama quality to this brew with layers of whisper flavors such as white grapes, melon, apple, pear skin, and a touch of mineral tones. Fruit forward at first then with a dry mineral finish this brew does very well in a white wine glass. Dewasansan milled to 55% has never tasted so clean and elegant. WORD: Elegant WINE: Dry reds/Light whites BEER: Light Beer FOODS: Teriyaki salmon, grilled chicken, maple glazed ham, steamed veggies. $36/720ml
Toko Ginga Shizuku “Divine Droplets”
From Yamagata Prefecture. Junmai Daiginjo Shizuku. SMV: +3 Acidity: 1.4
The nose on this re-incarnated sake brand is a quiet collection of mint, peach, apple and pear aromas. No your eyes aren’t deceiving you! This is an entirely new Ginga Shizuku from an entirely new brewery that has been a stalwart since 1579 in Yamagata. Why rebrand a sake? Who knows and who cares when this sake is simply superb! This was made using a non-pressing system called Shizuku which means bags are hung and the fluid trickles out drop by drop. Using local Dewasansan milled to 50% this superstar drinks clean, bright with a cool fruit pick-up that is uplifting and refreshing. Look for crisp hints of melon, radish, peach, and ripe pineapple flavors. There is a tickle of acidity that pops like white pepper and mint. Welcome Home Ginga Shizuka and thanks for giving us a bright and fresh sake that feels perfect in a white wine glass. WORD: Divine WINE: Fruity reds/Crisp Whites BEER: Crisp Ales FOODS: Smoked salmon, grilled shrimp and chicken, olive fare, and vinegar based salads. $74/720ml
From Yamagata Prefecture. Junmai Daiginjo Fukurotsuri.
SMV: ±0 Acidity: 1.5
At long last Toko is available in the US and that is great news. The nose on this incredibly luxurious sake is a special collection of sweet rice, pear, sugar, and cotton candy aromas. This is biblical sake that is a perfect snapshot of how amazing rice and water can feel and taste. Behold a tremendous sake with one of the best starts, middle palate, and finishing sips in the sake world. There is an impressive sweet rush filled with rice candy, lychee, sweet grapes, citrus and powdered sugar flavors that are uplifted by a gentle acidity that actually makes the middle sip tingly and wonderful. A world-class sake that is more than a sipping sake, it’s a ride! I never knew that complexity could drink so easy and lush. This brew needs to be on your Sake Bucket List. WORD: Ultimate WINE: Complex Reds/Juicy Whites BEERS: Creamy ales FOODS: Luxurious cuisine, shellfish, lobster, Champagne fare, cheese plates. $133/720ml
From Niigata Prefecture. Daiginjo. SMV: +2 Acidity: 1.0
The nose on this ultra-daiginjo milled to 35% is a glorious collection of strawberry, mango, pineapple, melon, and Gardenia petal aromas. It’s no wonder that this sake has won numerous gold medals in the Japan national competition. Talk about liquid luxury in a glass. This brew is as velvety as sake can get with layers of flavors that roll on a smooth and semi-thick fluid. Look for honey, mango, citrus, and melon flavors that move in a lush and chewy flow. It is a great feeling sake for sure and the lower acidity makes this brew world-class and does wonders in your white wine glass. WORD: Velvety WINE: Fat Reds/Big Whites BEER: Belgian Ales FOODS: Sushi, sashimi, oysters, shellfish, cheese plates. $125/720ml
Daishichi Myoka Rangyoku "Heavenly Flower"
From Fukushima Prefecture. Aged Junmai Daiginjo Kimoto Shizuku.
SMV: N/A Acidity: N/A
The nose on this “Once in a lifetime” masterpiece is an amazing collection of rose petal, cream, raisins, bananas, and cotton candy aromas. This sake wasn’t built; it evolved into a superb Daiginjo standing on the shoulders of both the Kimoto and Shizuku style of sake brewing. Throw in 4 years of aging and you get a complexity not found in most sake. Fruit-forward, full-bodied, rich and complex it drinks you more than you drink it. Look for ripe persimmon, raisin, marshmallow, nougat, and woody elements that grow in a wine glass and feel more aged as the fluid warms. Heavenly Flower drinks like rich liquid umami especially in a white wine glass. This is not your dainty and elegant Daiginjo sake, it is a brew that is in the upper stratosphere of the sake-drinking world. Not to be missed in your lifetime! WORD: Masterpiece WINE: Complex Reds/Immense Whites BEER: Creamy Belgians FOODS: Rich cuisines, game, fowl, smoked fish, complex pastas. $525/720ml
Aizu Homare “Black Label”
From Fukushima Prefecture. Junmai Daiginjo. SMV: ±1 Acidity: 1.4
The nose on this International Wine Challenge Grand Champion Trophy winner is a superb collection of melon, grape, mineral water, and strawberry aromas. Have you ever wanted to taste a sake that defines a category? Well this brew is for you! Using Yamadanishiki milled to 39%, get ready for a sake made with just rice and water but tastes like a fruit basket. Smooth, round, and soft. This sexy and alluring Daiginjo is velvet personified. It’s both juicy and watery, slippery and expressive and it excels in a white wine glass. Look for hints of red apple, pear, mango, and strawberry on a fluid that drinks bright and zesty, which might have something to do with the 1801 yeast. WORD: Expressive WINE: Fruity Reds/Fat Whites BEER: Fruity ales FOODS: Shellfish, sashimi, cheese plates, champagne fare. $60/720ml
From Hyogo Prefecture. Yamahai Futsushu Shiboritate Namachozo.
SMV: +3 Acidity: N/A
The nose on this single pasteurized brew is a gentle collection of apple, sweet rice, strawberry, and pear aromas. Say hello to a crisp and dry sake that is clean and bright and extremely drinkable. Let me repeat that it is very drinkable! Look for hints of pineapple, red apple, pear, honey roasted nuts, and a touch of caramel. This is a very fresh brew that is made with Gohyakumangoku milled to 68% with an 18.6% alc content. If you like it dry and crisp then grab a bottle of what they call “Premium” Futsushu. WORD: Smooth Wine: Crisp Reds/Tight Whites BEER: Crisp Ales FOODS: Shellfish, sushi, sashimi, grilled chicken, tofu, creamy desserts. $32/720ml