NIWA NO UGUISU “The Nightingale of the Garden” Junmai Ginjo
From the tiny Kura Yamaguchi Shuzo http://niwanouguisu.com in Fukuoka Prefecture known for putting great care into their sake comes this very fine offering imported directly by That's Life Gourmet Sake + Wine.
The brewery was founded in 1832 and is now headed by the 11th president.
The direct translation of the brand is 'The Nightingale of the Garden' because it's said that the birds used to come to their garden to drink water from their water baths
This is available by the case (12 bot.) only at present time and by contacting the importer directly at the contact number given below.
NIWA NO UGUISU “The Nightingale of the Garden”
FUKUOKA (KURUME), JAPAN
Price: $29.95 (720ml – case of 12)
50˚F (10˚C) Hana-hié “Flower Cold”
A Glencairn Whisky Glass that narrows at the neck to concentrate aroma for a superior tasting experience, the perfect drinking glass for Ginjo and Daiginjo sake.
Almost perfectly clear with only slightest tinge of chartreuse
Deep kiwano (horned) melon with vibrant cucumber, kiwi and soft “bubblegum” (say yeasty) aromas; followed by secondary hints of soft custard apple, cantaloupe and delicate sage notes. Aromas of soft alcohol present, but hardly overpowering or offensive. As the sake opens up the soft koji nose kicks in to round out the softness.
Soft creamy pear and custard apples envelope the palate with kiwi, melon and delicate light cherry notes backed up by soothing alcohol coolness and easy drinking characteristics of this brew. This is a very well made and well balanced sake made in a non classic (call it typical) junmai ginjo style. It offers the drinker that extra mile in terms of roundness, length and overall character, making it one of my new favourites that I anticipate savouring again and again.
A feminine sake leaning toward the masculine side, this is very enjoyable sake that can be consumed at length with a very balanced and enjoyable profile. Not overly sweet as it maintains that pleasant junmai-side bitterness at the finish leaving the palate very refreshed.
This sake (like most) is very food friendly! As far Eastern palates (and dishes) go, the creamy, koji richness would pair well with the oiliness of eel sushi, sea urchin or prawn tempura as well as smoky richness of bbq eel dishes and hot-pots (such as shabu-shabu).
For Western type fare this would match well with rice dishes such as seafood paella, risotto (non-tomato or heavy wine based) or fried arancini, with its oily mouthfeel. Cream based pasta dishes and even creamy blue cheese went surprisingly well with this brew - to my great surprise!