November 2010

True Sake Selects - Team True Sake Select Monthly Brews of Note

Posted by Beau Timken in 2010, Newsletter, November
Miwa, Lynette, Keiko Miwa's Pick:

Matsunoi "Wishing Well"
From Niigata prefecure / Tokubetsu Honjozo / SMV: +5 / Acidity: 1.3
Yeast: Association #10 / $24 (720ml)

I met Mr. Furusawa at a tasting event last month, and we met again in Tokyo. This Tokubertsu Honjozo has a gentle texture, nice weight and rich rice taste. For semi-dry sake, the brew offers a hidden rice-sweetness, which is a great comfort if you are paring the sake with savory dishes.

We went to an izakya in Iidabash. We drank and chatted for six hours, missing our last trains. They had an opened bottle of 1.8L Mastunoi Tokubetsu Honjozo, only a few ounces left in it. So, the bartender was nice enough to open a fresh bottle for us--using a term "kuchi-kire." To my nice surprise Furusawa-san asked for the taste of the opened bottle as well, and he drank the two side-by- side. The fresh bottle had a more drier and compact quality; the opened bottle had a mellow and gentle quality. Furusawa-san recommend this brew warm as well as slightly chilled.

Jokigen "Red"
From Yamagata prefecture / Junmai Ginjo Kimoto / SMV: +2 / Acidity: 1.7
Yeast: Kumamoto KA / $40 (720ml)

Brewed with Omachi rice and Kumamoto yeast in traditional Kimoto style. Pressed with "fune" method, the brew is from the favored middle pressing part "nakadori."

Only four cases became available in the Bay Area. I was able to get two cases. Velvety texture and complex flavor are accented with fruity acidity (unlike many kimoto-style sakes) and rice sweetness. The sake becomes softer the second day after being opened. I don't know when the next shipment will be, so for those who are fan of Kimoto or Jokigen, this brew is worth trying.

Keiko's Pick:

Kagatobi Junmai Ginjo
From Ishikawa prefecture / Junmai Ginjo / SMV: +4 / Acidity: 1.4 / $40 (720ml)

Lynette's Pick:

Jozen Mizuno Gotoshi "Jozen Blue" Junmai Daiginjo
From Niigata Prefecture / SMV: +2 / Acidity: 1.5 / $68 (720ml with box)

This is an extremely elegant sake, silky smooth and with that Niigata freshness that I love! I tasted this out of a smaller glass and on the colder side. It was excellent, very clean and not too sweet or dry. It wasn't "watery" by any means, but had a nice medium-light body. And the fruitiness, which was subtle at this temperature, might pop out more as it sits in your hand. But really, your glass will probably be empty before you realize it. For those who joined us at Sake Day 2010, this was the Welcome sake that many of you came back to over and over (and over!) again. And to that group who I saw crowding the welcome table and tilting the cask to get that last drop while you thought I wasn't looking (you know who you are! Haha!), I expect you to take advantage of this opportunity to pick up a full bottle of one of your favorite sakes of the evening. And great news, it's even cheaper than I originally quoted at the event! So enjoy!

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