June 2006

New Store Arrivals – 3 Niigata Dai Ginjos and Momokawa Dai Ginjo

Posted by Beau Timken in 2006, June, New Store Arrivals, Newsletter

In our efforts to offer as many different sakes as possible we find that we have been adding more 180ml and 300ml sakes. In this regard, there are not a lot of Dai Ginjos in this size that are available in the US. But a new importing group, which focuses on Niigata sake has given life to this under-represented size vs category dilemma. Herewith are three "small bottle" Dai Ginjos that are new to True Sake: (The first is the sake that is listed above in the "Sake Spotlight" section)

Manotsuru "Nature Island" 
From Niigata Prefecture.
Dai Ginjo.
SMV: +5
Acidity: 1.1
This incredibly smooth Dai Ginjo has a ripe nose filled with grape, sweet rice, blackberry, and wheat toast aromas. Talk about silky soft! Behold a sake that just feels amazing in the mouth. With hints of dried fruit tones, marshmallow and a vein of vanilla, the drinkability of "Nature Island" makes you appreciate complexity in a flow rather than in layers! Velvety sake at its best.
WORD: Silk
WINE: Pinot Noir/Chewy Soft Whites
BEER: Creamy ales
FOODS: Mild appetizers, sashimi, poached salmon.
Hakuryu "White Dragon"
From Niigata Prefecture.
Dai Ginjo.
SMV: +5
Acidity: 1
With a gentle nose of rose pedals, minerals, anise, and vanilla, this Dai Ginjo is a celebration of subtlety. Clean and soft textures welcome nuances on several levels. There are hints of fruit tones, but the overall drinking experience is on the dryer side. Think the three "C's" Clean, Compact, and Confident. A good example of the complexity of sake in a very drinkable brew.
WORD: Clean
WINE: Cabs/White Burgundy
BEER: Crisp ales
FOODS: Grilled fish, white fish sashimi, light appetizers.
Koshi no Omachi "Ancient Rice"
From Niigata Prefecture.
Dai Ginjo.
SMV: +3.5
Acidity: 1.2
A vast array of fruit aromas such as strawberry, plum, grape, and blueberry blended with rose water and minerals makes up the nose on this Dai Ginjo that is milled to 40%. There are not a lot of "omachi" rice Dai Ginjos out there so this guy is not only rare it is also delicious. Deep and rich it has a plump and chunky personality loaded with flavors that float on a clean creamy soft fluid. A great example of a wide mouth sake that drinks dry and zesty.
WINE: Chewy Reds/ Fat Whites
BEER: Stouts
FOODS: Grilled fish, shellfish, sushi, clean pasta.
Momokawa "Peach River"
From Aomori Prefecture.
Dai Ginjo.
SMV: +5 Acidity: 1.3
This particular bottle is a celebration of the 5-Senses, which includes one of the best sounding pours in the sake world. The nose is filled with pear, peach, cherry, and salt water tones. This is not one of those "clean and gone" Dai Ginjos as layers of flavors keep "giving" throughout the mouth. Look for dry fruit elements of apricots and dried pears mixed with spicy tones including ginger and white pepper. This is a dry Dai Ginjo that starts with a creamy smoothness and ends with a tickling crispness. If you like it dry give it a try!
WORD: 5 Senses
WINE: Bordeaux/White Burgundy
BEER: Crisp Ales
FOODS: Sashimi, grilled chicken, roasted pork, creamy pasta, cheese.
$62/720ml with boxIf you recall we spoke about this particular sake in the April 2005 Newsletter, which focused on the bottle shape to enhance the drinking experience. It's a pretty good read if you feel like revisiting why this brewery puts so much emphasis into the shape of the bottle.

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