February 2009

New Store Arrivals - Kunigiku, Kamotsuru, & Yoi no Tsuki - Spring Namas '08

Posted by admin in 2009, February, New Store Arrivals, Newsletter

new store arrivals feb 2009Lots of new brews to look at - the store is loaded with "New Arrival" placards. Just trying to catch up and get a review for each sake. Herewith are three new rice efforts to fill your glass and imagination.

  • Yoi no Tsuki "Moon At Midnight"

From Iwate Prefecture.
SMV: +4 Acidity: 1.2
This Daiginjo has an expansive nose filled with grape, mineral, ash, honey and ripe fruit elements. A very smooth and expressive brew that is all flavor forward in a chewy mouthful. Round and expansive the "all over" dominant flavor is that of deep rich fruit tones like a chutney or compote that seems to drink more alive as the fluid warms in glass. A smaller vessel produces a longer tail and a larger one brings out more weight and smoothness in the sake. It's one of those brews that drinks better with oxygen, and some enjoy more on the second day.
WORD: Chewy
WINE: Pinot Noir/ Chardonnay
BEER: Dark Belgians
FOODS: Grilled white fish, poached chicken, fruit salads, light cold pastas.

  • Kunigiku "Chrysanthemum Country" 

From Fukuoka Prefecture.
Junmai Ginjo.
SMV: -1 Acidity: 1.6
Note: These words appear directly on back of bottle as I did the back label for this brewery. "Kunigiku has an amazing aroma profile filled with grape, honeydew, and apple elements. A full-bodied expansive sake that has thick and fleshy fruit tones of pear and lyches with a hint of anise and mint. Round, soft, and deep flavors provide a great mouth feel."
WORD: Lush
WINE: Fruity reds/Non-oaky Chardonnay
BEER: Fat ales
FOODS: Grilled meat and fish, BBQ, Full-bodied cuisine.

  • Kamotsuru 

From Hiroshima Prefecture.
Junmai Ginjo Nigori.
SMV: -35 Acidity: 2.4
This incredibly well-balanced "un-filtered" sake has a gentle nose filled with cream, gardenia flower, and grape elements. Talk about an elegant "Nigori" that is gentle in scope and direct in flavor. A very easy brew that has soft and round flavors such as grape, peach, pear and a touch of whipping cream. Look for the fluid to become fruitier as the sake warms in the mouth, but the finish stays clean and fast. Perfect for those who enjoy filtered sake, but want to try an "Un- filtered" brew.
WORD: Elegant
WINE: Complex reds/Full-bodied whites
BEER: Sweet ales
FOODS: Meal in a glass, but does well with clean sashimi, light cheeses, gentle fruit salads, and subtle pastas.

And yes folks the first flight of the Spring Namas are at the store. I will write reviews for all 5 in the March Newsletter, but 'til then here are the new contestants as written by Kazu Yamazaki - the importer and sake guru who is responsible for so many great nama sakes being sent to the US:


Early spring released draft sake with fresh aroma and light taste. The refined sake brewed with new rice harvested from previous fall and bottled without pasteurization. Only available through early spring season.

HARUSHIKA "SHIBORIBANA" 12/720ml : $ 29.00

  • Junmai ginjo nama sake, from Nara-pref.
  • Flavorful, light & smooth type. Very fresh and clean aromas, with a hint of strawberries. Perfectly balanced fruity flavors with soft texture.
  • SMV : +1 / Acidity : 1.4


  • Tokubetsu junmai nama genshu sake, from Miyagi-pref.
  • Unpasteurized cloudy sake. Very fruity nigori sake, with apple, melon and lemon aromas. Complex flavors balanced well with crisp acidity.
  • SMV : ±0 / Acidity : 1.7

KAMIKOKORO "TOKAGEN" 12/720ml : $ 29.00

  • Tokubetsu junmai nama genshu sake, from Okayama-pref.
  • Rich type. Very unique sake, brewed with peach yeast. Refreshing aromas of peach, lime & bamboo. Expansive mild taste, with crisp acidity and long finish.
  • SMV : -9.5 / Acidity : 1.6


  • Junmai nama genshu sake, from Niigata-pref.
  • Rich & smooth type. Tranquil aroma of fruits, grain & yogurt. Great balance of acidity, fruits and savory flavors. Deep and expansive taste with crisp finish.
  • SMV : +3 / Acidity : 1.8

SHUTENDOUJI "OH-ONI" 12/720ml : $ 33.00

  • Junmai ginjo nama genshu sake, from Kyoto
  • Flavorful & rich type. Fruity aromas of apple and white peach. Full-bodied sake with deep flavor of rice and long finish.
  • SMV : +4 / Acidity : 1.9

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