April 2007

New Store Arrivals - Tomio, Ginban Banshu, & The Late-Spring Nama Releases!

Posted by admin in 2007, April, New Store Arrivals, Newsletter

We have had several sakes enter the True Sake ranks unannounced of late! The fault is mine for not getting out the reviews as quickly as I normally do. There are two +$175 sakes that I will review for the next issue, but for now try a $38 Dai Ginjo from Kyoto called Tomio or revisit Ginban Banshu which has been added in the 720ml form for a very cool $25.

Tomio Genzo "Classic Bottle"
Kyoto Prefecture.
Junmai Dai Ginjo Genshu.
SMV: +3 Acidity: 1.3
This incredibly smooth Genshu "undiluted" (17%-19%) Dai Ginjo has a subtle nose filled with white grape, plum and earthy elements. Talk about a fat, soft and chewy brew with layers of flavors that stop immediately upon finish. So velvety for a Genshu and yet so expansive with gentle hints of noughet or cooked marshmallow, and a push of "umami" rice tones. More fruit tones present themselves closer to room temperature, but by no means does this brew drink fruity. Think soft, rich, fat and smooth!
WINE: Pinot Noir/Merlot/Chewy Dry Whites
BEER: Belgian Ales
FOODS: Most grilled cuisine, cheesy pastas, oily sashimi.
Ginban Banshu "50" 
Toyama Prefecture.
Junmai Dai Ginjo.
SMV: +4 Acidity: 1.3
How can a sake have both a strawberry and mushroom nose? Well don't stop there throw in some Marigold, Chrysanthemum and pepper and now we are talking about a sake with a great scent. This Dai Ginjo is so many things in a very clean and affordable package. There is a rolling current of ripe fruit softness that gets ushered along by a cordial dryness. Grape meat, melon, strawberries and bananas fill out a flavor core that also touches on a gradual umami finesse. Behold a splendid example of a shimmering sake with round and inviting elements that do very well room-temperature as well as chilled. A perfect sake for a gathering of sake drinkers of all likes.
WORD: Shimmering
WINE: Soft Reds / Chardonnay
BEER: Sweet Ales
FOODS: Fruit salad, proscuitto and figs, avocado and crab salad, soft ripe cheeses.
$25/720ml $54/1.8L

And just when you thought the "Spring Nama" season was over here comes three more unpasteurized sakes to make your pre-summer libation education a resounding "wahooo!" David Byrne once sung "Same as it ever was" and so too is this line-up that repeats last year's offerings. We are very pleased to offer three Nama's that do different "things" (official sake terminology!).

If you are looking for a dry and powerful brew then the Gokyo Arabashiri will speak to you as the freshness (bottled in February) and fatness of this sake sings loud and clear. For those who enjoy the "elegance" of Nama sake then the offering from Otokoyama will definitely please your semi-dry and soft cravings. Lastly, call the police as Kaika (bottled in Dec) has produced one of the most voluptuous and sexy Nama's -filled with fruit and attitude- to ever grace our shelves.

Gokyo Arabashiri 
Yamaguchi Prefecture.
Nama Junmai.
SMV: +5 Acidity:1.7
This unpasteurized sake has a complex nose flexing with aromas from spring onion and mint to strawberries and vanilla. It is huge! Think thick and crisp and add an extremely wide mouth that speaks to those who like their wines large and their boozes neat. Gokyo (18%) is a great example of a "fat" sake with layers of deep flavors such as green apple, honey clover, green bamboo and orange peel. The viscosity is thick and chewy and this balances out a vivid acidity that plays so well with the creamy taste and soft roundness.
WORD: Huge!
WINE: Beaujolais /Big Whites
BEER: Stouts
FOODS: Throw the kitchen sink at this Nama - the bigger the flavor the better!
Otokoyama "Yukishibare" 
Hokkaido Prefecture.
Nama Tokubetsu Junmai.
SMV: +4 Acidity: 1.4
With a rolling nose of cream, cotton candy, raspberries, and a hint of coconut this unpasteurized sake is a "sasa" or "usu" Nigori, which means it is "misty" in appearance. Clean, soft and layered behold an extremely elegant Nama-sake filled with hints of honeydew, ripe papaya, Japanese apple-pear, and mineral flavors. Its gentle fruity tones drink dryer than expected and the finish is pure "class" in a glass!
WORD: Elegant
WINE: Merlot/Non-Oaky Chardonnay
BEER: Ales
FOODS: Sashimi, grilled white fish, fruit salad, creamy cheeses.
Kaika "Shiboritate" 
Tochigi Prefecture.
Nama Tokubetsu Junmai Genshu.
SMV: +1.5 Acidity: 1.5
What a nose filled with flower blossoms, cut grass, marshmallow, and rose water. This unpasteurized sake is loaded with ripe and delicious flavors including green grapes, powdered sugar, and overly ripened pear. There is a touch of sweetness buried in layers of balanced fruit tones that drinks quick and crisp. The mouth feel is slippery and the finish is full-bodied, curvaceous, and slinky - appealing to those who want a flavo-gasm!
WORD: Luscious
WINE: Deep reds/ Strong whites
BEER: Pilsner/crisp ales
FOODS: Grill-fare, anything on a skewer, sushi, Thai food.

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