BREWERY (KURA): SHATA SHUZO
PREFECTURE: ISHIKAWA, JAPAN
STYLE: YAMAHAI JUNMAI
SMB: 60% (% of grain remaining after polish)
Price: $30.95 (approx.) (720ml – case of 12)
IMPORT AGENCY INFO:
THAT’S LIFE GOURMET LTD.
LCBO Release Date: June 13. 2014
Chilled: 50˚F (10˚C) Hana-hié “Flower Cold”
#1: “Guinomi” Sake Glass that broadens out at the neck to allow a “waterfall pour” type effect delivery, the perfect drinking glass for Junmai and full-flavoured sake.
#2: A Glencairn Whisky Glass that narrows at the neck to concentrate aroma for a superior tasting experience. Many Junmai are too often completely muted on the nose, this type of a vessel will help give an extra boost to aromas and help in accentuating the sometimes faint notes
Slight yellow tinge indicating a less polished grain of rice as a well a bit of aging before bottling
Woodsy (pine), shiitake, hazelnut aromas with soft, pleasant herbal notes (thyme) and sweet anjou pear. Pleasant “witch hazel” hint on the background notes – that’s a good thing!
Big pear burst on the front palate, with mutsu apple and refreshing cream/yogurt acid lift. Exceptional mouth feel with great balance across the mid-palate; savoury yet soft oxidation intensifies the rich and earthy flavours that keep delivering into a super long, ever-pleasing “umami laden” finish.
In a word…Exceptional! One of the better Junmai category sakes I have had in a while!. An incredibly well made, developed sake from Shata Shuzo (est. 1823) with incredible “koku” (say terroir) from the great sake producing prefecture of Ishikawa. Tengumai means “Dancing Raven” and supposedly makes the mountain creatures dance with joy – me too! Made with Gohyakumangoku rice (#1 used rice in Japan for premium sake). The Yamahai Moto (yeast starter mash) showcases the benefit of this labuorious (but well worth it) process…a labour of love! In Yamahai, the lactobacillus bacteria from the air infects the moto and creates the needed lactic acid. This is a perfect example of how a sake can be both active, aggressive, and yet passive at the same time!
NO BRAINER: fatty cuts of yakitori (“bonjiri” chicken tails), (pork belly “butabara”) and (kawa “chicken skin”). BBQ quail with matsutake ~ barley stuffing. Black cod with saikyo miso.
AVANT GARDE: “urad dal” Kashmiri masala black lentils with yogurt and naan. Octopus pastrami with mugi miso mustard. Lobster poutine with béarnaise gravy. Rosemary braised rabbit with carrots and prunes