Sawahime Ginjo “2022 IWC Grand Champion”
The nose on this Grand Champion Ginjo has a gentle collection of steamed rice, oatmeal, cream, pear, young peach, and vanilla aromas. Most sake competitions feature sakes that aren’t available to the public, not the International Wine Challenge. But, when a king is crowned everybody in Japan buys that specific brew out immediately so you don’t get a chance to taste it. This Ginjo is the exact batch that won the Trophy and you get to taste it. Smooth, round, and layered they age this brew for a year before releasing it. They actually mill this brew to 50%, which is technically a Daiginjo, and it doesn’t drink like prototypical Ginjo that is powerfully fruity and crisp. It drinks like the aging is a specific technique to take down the edges, and there is a ton of umami and complexity, which is cool. Look for cocoa, ripe pear, apple pie, rock sugar, caramel, nougat, and powder sugar flavors that flow to the edges of the fluid, which is also cool. We feel it drinks better chilled and kept chilled. This allows the sneaky crispness to show with a mineral and umami finish that is quite professional and yummy. WORD: Champion WINE: Complex Red/Velvety Whites BEER: Creamy Belgian Ales FOODS: Sushi, sashimi, crab, lobster, foie gras, smoked meats and game, pastas.