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We're open for online orders, store pick up, and same-day door service. (415) 355-9555.
We're open for online orders, store pick up, and same-day door service. (415) 355-9555.

Recent Sake Reviews September 2011

Dassai "39"

Yamaguchi Prefecture. Junmai Daiginjo. SMV: +3 Acidity: 1.3 This Daiginjo fits in between Dassai "50" and "23" in terms of milling rates and is both similar and different to its sister brews. The nose is fruity with koji rice, apple, honeydew, and strawberry aromas. A very plush sake that is loaded with fruit basket flavors and has a very wine-like acidity presence with a long finish. Chewy, round, and soft, but bright - go figure! Hints of pear, apple, blueberry and honeydew on a fleshy fluid that is lively and velvety. "39" drinks almost nama-like and beware of fruit flies who will surely find your glass within minutes. WORD: Velvet WINE: Plump Reds/Smooth Whites BEER: Soft Ales FOODS: Clean fare, elegant flavors, fruit salads, avocado salads, cheese plates. $50 (720ml)

Denshin "Natsu"

From Fukui Prefecture. Nama Daiginjo. SMV: NA Acidity: NA This living brew has a nose filled with pear, grape, peach, honey, and ginger licks. Talk about a great summer sake that drinks tropical fruity delicious. Smooth, round, clean and juicy this brew is loaded with flavors so grab your shopping cart to tour the fruit stand. Look for grape, berry, mango, and passion fruit hints that slide on a semi-chewy flavor flow with a very gentle finish. Good balance, good flavors, good feelings this Daiginjo nama walks the summer walk. WORD: Tropical WINE: Round Reds/Bright Whites BEER: Juicy Ales FOODS: Sushi/Sashimi, fruit salads, grilled veggies, fried chicken. $48 (720ml)

Dewazakura "Mt. Cherry"

From Yamagata Prefecture. Daiginjo. SMV: +6 Acidity: 1.2 The nose on this special sake from the award winning brewery is plump with plum, berry, grape, peach and floral elements. A perfect example of a wine drinker's sake - good fruit tones balanced with a good acidity play. How can rice and water do this? Amazing dry and fruity qualities to this sake. Look for juicy flavors including honey, peach, pear, red apple and fruit compote. Then there are dry flavors of apricot and steamed rice that balance out the movement of this Daiginjo that drinks better in a larger vessel. WORD: Fruity WINE: Fruity Reds/Fat Whites BEER: Belgian Ales FOODS: Appetizer friendly, cheese plates, sushi/sashimi, fruit plates. $66 (720ml)

Jokigen "Red Label"

From Yamagata Prefecture. Kimoto Junmai Ginjo. SMV: +2 Acidity: 1.7 Yeah for unique sakes! The aroma field on this traditionally made brew is a quiver filled with woody, creamy, minty, buttery and ricey arrows. A very chippy brew with layers of ripe fruit elements on a bright and tingly fluid that drinks very raw like a nama sake. Sweet and zesty look for grape, cherry, honeydew and white peach flavors that bounce on a firm acidity with a long finish that appeals to white wine drinkers. This brewery is known for making unique products and that is so refreshing and fun in an industry of breweries trying to make the same sake over and over. Different is good. WORD: Zippy WINE: Deep Reds/Fruity Whites BEER: Sweet Ales FOODS: Salty and savory, things on a stick or a grill, cheese and fruit plates. $40 (720ml)


From Fukushima. Nama Junmai. SMV: +2 Acidity: 1.6 This raw misty sake has a very unique nose filled lemon yogurt, dried cherry, and creamy aromas. A very good change of pace nama that does not fall in line with the sweet, fruity, and acidic other brews. Naraman drinks bright, tingly, and crisp and is semi-dry. There is a very nice "shibumi" which is a gentle astringency that carries flavors of unripe peach, crisp apple, and hints of fruit yogurt. There is an abundance of rice tones that pushes the balance of the brew and a mid-sized glass is best for crispness and flavor. A good nama for those who like there sakes on the dry side. WORD: Dry WINE: Crisp reds/Tight whites BEER: Crisp Ales FOODS: Salty and savory fare, grilled everything, oysters in a vinaigrette. $35 (720ml)


From Yamagata Prefecture. Nama Tokubetsu Junmai. SMV: +3~+4 Acidity: 1.4~1.5 This unpasteurized sake has a raw nose filled with honeydew, passion fruit, spring onion and mineral elements. This is a very summery nama that drinks light, clean and fresh. Semi-dry with hints of yellow apple, young pear and honeydew. Ohyama drinks very balanced for a raw sake and there is a gentle vein of minerals that runs through the entire sip. Smooth and easy this brew speaks to those who want a conversation and not a yelling match with their sake. A smaller glass pulls more acidity and there is more flavor in a larger glass. This is relaxation sake. WORD: Pear WINE: Gentle reds/Soft whites BEER: Light Beer FOODS: Sushi/Sashimi, clean flavors, steamed fish, light veggies. $33 (720ml)

Sasame Yuki

From Fukushima Prefecture. Junmai Nigori. SMV: -17 Acidity: 1.7 The nose on this unique red wine drinker's unfiltered sake is a wonderful collection of marshmallow, powder sugar, sweet nuts and cream aromas. This is not a bright, sweet, fruity nigori rather it is a sake that would appeal to red wine fans who enjoy full-bodied sakes that drink more rich than sweet. Smooth, creamy, plump and round this brew has a rich personality pushing flavors such as sweet nuts, dark honey, with a ping of cocoa. Rich and savory it is quite complex for a "coarsely" filtered sake, and is very solid in the palate. A good change of pace nigori. WORD: Rich WINE: Deep Reds/Rich Whites BEER: Big ales. FOODS: Meal in a glass. $28 (720ml)

Umenishiki "Gorgeous Plum"

From Ehime Prefecture. Nama Junmai Daiginjo. SMV: +3.5 Acidity: 1.1 This is a great hot day unpasteurized sake that has a nose filled with white peach, grape, pear, apple, and floral elements. Talk about elegance in a raw sake. Light and dry but with a good body this Daiginjo nama is smooth and fast on the palate. "Easy" is too cheap of a descriptive, but why not as this brew is controlled and compact and oh so quaffable. Mild licks of melon, apple and dried plum rest on a brew that drinks more like a pasteurized sake. There are very subtle creamy and rich points to this brew, but the fruit comes forth in a larger glass. Light and dry like a good summer laugh. WORD: Light WINE: Gentle Reds/Dry Whites BEER: Crisp Ales FOODS: Picnic Basket. $28 (500ml)

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