August 2006

New Store Arrivals - Akita Homare Dai Ginjo and Those Summer Nama's

Posted by admin in 2006, August, New Store Arrivals, Newsletter

Every once in a while a great sake falls off of my sake radar screen. It just drops into the Bermuda Triangle of lost brews. The reasons are many, but excuses all the same, and the outcome is that a really delicious sake is lost at sea, and you fine people never get to hear about it! Well, I recently read an old review for the following sake and I asked myself, where in the hell did that brew go? It didn't "go" anywhere, and fortunately it is right back on the shelves of True Sake right where it belongs!

Akita Homare "Pride of Akita"
Akita Prefecture.
Junmai Dai Ginjo.
SMV: +1.5
Acidity: 1.4
This 45% milled sake has splendid nose with hints of plums, grape skins, minerals, and vanilla. A very nice pale yellow sheen quickly fills the mouth with chewy and plump fruit forward flavors that are creamy and luscious. There are traces of vanilla in this full-bodied sake that is both elegant and amazingly inviting. The mouth feel is superb and the creamy finish speaks volumes.
WORD: Luscious
WINE: Pinot Noir/non-oaky chardonnay
BEER: Ales
FOODS: Pastas in a light cream sauce, grilled oily fish, cheeses, fruit.

Okay Folks! The "Summer Nama-sakes" are almost about to retire for the year. If you have not tried them make sure to do so sooner rather than later. We cannot predict the moment when they disappear. Just like Summer '05 we have brews from Ohyama (was the top selling Nama last year), Tsukasabotan, and Umenishiki. But wait! This season we have a new brew from Otokoyama that joins these fellow unpasteurized beauties.

If you are looking for the sublime and elegant Nama Dai Ginjo (not a lot of these) experience try the Umenishiki, or for those looking for dry and refreshing grab a bottle of Tsukasabotan. If plump and ripe is your thing try the Ohyama and if you want that clean and refreshing drinking experience give the Otokoyama a shot. Bottom-line is that there is a Summer Nama for everybody! Again, and we know that you know that we know that you know that we are going to say this again, but these great seasonal sakes are for a limited time only. So get'em while the getting' is good!

Ohyama "Big Mountain"
Yamagata Prefecture.
Nama Tokubetsu Junmai.
SMV: +3.5
Acidity: 1.3
If you are looking for "drinkable" without too much "thinkable" then grab this Nama. Clean, plump and round this unpasteurized sake has a nose filled with yellow cherry, apple, and ripe fruit tones. Is it semi-dry or semi-sweet, who cares as the overall feeling is refreshingly fruity without being sweet. There are very soft powder sugar, melon, and white grape flavors that move in a semi-thick texture with a stop-gap finish. Think watery but packed with flavors, and let it go closer to room temp for the full Nama experience.
WORD: Grapes
WINE: Merlot/Chewy whites
BEER: Creamy Ales
FOODS: Sushi, sashimi, grilled fare.
Otokoyama Sasaori "Man's Mountain"
Hokkaido Prefecture.
Nama Tokubetsu Junmai.
SMV: +5
Acidity: 1.4
The nose on this unpasteurized sake is filled with honeydew melon, ripe cherry, and white chocolate tones. This is a silky soft Nama sake that has hints of rock candy, honeydew, and powder sugar elements all wrapped up in a soft and semi-sweet drinking experience. Think semi-sweet and sunny, light and fun, bright and fresh. A great example of a sake that is full in flavor but soft in texture - gentle and refreshing.
WORD: Soft
WINE: Merlot/Non-oaky chardonnay
BEER: Light ales
FOODS: Cuisine with a natural sweetness, fruit, seafood, cheese.
Tsukasabotan "King of the Peony"
Kochi Prefecture.
Nama Junmai Ginjo.
SMV: +5
Acidity: 1.5
This Nama-sake has a pronounced nose filled with apple, pineapple, and green grasses tones. Talk about a brew with two distinct elements! This sake captures two great qualities in the sake world - the feeling called Nama, and the flavor generalized as Ginjo. It is a dry sake with full flavors such as steamed rice with hints of ripe persimmon and honey. Keep a taste bud open for Japanese apple-pear, minerals, and other crisp flavors. Dry and watery!
WORD: Persimmon
WINE: Complex reds/Crisp whites
BEER: Pilsners
FOODS: Grilled anything, salty flavors, fried fare.
Umenishiki " Gorgeous Plum"
Ehime Prefecture.
Nama Junmai Dai Ginjo.
SMV: +4
Acidity: 1.2
This extremely elegant Nama Dai Ginjo (not many of those around) has a lively nose with hints of minerals, green apple, papaya, dark chocolate and sea salt tones. Think crisp and semi-dry when trying a Nama that is built to enhance the subtleties found in Dai Ginjo sake. The tip of the tongue stays fruity whilst the finish is dry and everything in between captures nuanced elements such as unripe pear, almonds, mineral water, and a sneaky vein of bitter chocolate. Clean and compact this Dai Ginjo is a treat for those looking to see a subtle side of Nama-sake.
WORD: Crisp
WINE: Zesty reds/ Dry whites
BEER: Crisp ales
FOODS: Sushi, sashimi, gently flavored cuisines.

Lastly, we will have three new "amazing" sakes to tell you about in the next Newsletter, including one of my favorites that is exclusively sold at True Sake! So do not forget to check out September's New Arrivals, you will be glad that you did!

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