Hello, Sake Lovers!
One day at a time, right?
Last week was a pretty rough one, business-wise, but we hope you all are doing well and keeping safe and healthy.
Under the current circumstances/safety restrictions, we're sticking with our revised schedule for RETAIL ONLY/Take Out/Curbside Pick-up service, and our hours remain:
Tuesday- Saturday: Noon- 6:00 pm
Sunday- Monday: CLOSED
We were perhaps a little overzealous in our purchasing last week, so we continue to feature some of the delicious seasonal treats we mentioned last week.
However, we realize that sometimes people have difficulty remembering the names of brews they've enjoyed and it can be easier and more interesting to connect a story to the sake you like. In that spirit, we've included some "Did you know?/Fun Facts" in the descriptions below.
Thanks very much for your continued support, and please keep drinking the good stuff!
Arigatou & Kanpai!
Johnnie & Taiko
This Week's Featured Saké
We've still got access to some of this year's limited seasonal releases and we are absolutely thrilled to bring back some old favorites.
Masumi “Arabashiri” Junmai Ginjo Nama Genshu (Nagano) Saké Nomi’s most popular limited seasonal release returns! Did you know?/Fun Facts: Established in 1662, Miyasaka Brewing Co. is the 1946 birthplace of Yeast No. 7, the most famous and widely used yeast in ginjo sake production. In making this year's version of Arabashiri, the brewers used a variant of the usual Yeast No. 7, resulting in higher levels of acidity and umami (that mysterious, magical, savory flavor), making it particularly versatile and well-suited to food pairing.
$40/720 ml bottle (Special "end of season" reduced price!)
Taka “Noble Arrow” Tokubetsu Junmai Namazake (Yamaguchi)
Limited seasonal release! Golden coloring with vaguely citrus and mineral notes in the nose. Soft, pretty mouthfeel. Mildly sweet, but with tart, almost sour accents, as well. Nice acidity and a finish that kind of hangs around.
Did you know?/Fun Facts: The 4th generation president/toji (head brewer) Takahiro Nagayama is the namesake for this sake -- the first character of his name, Taka, means "noble." Nagayama-san has been inspired by the natural wines of France and the concept of terroir, and puts an emphasis on using only local ingredients in his brews. The brewery grows some of its own rice (unusual for most breweries), and the local water source is naturally filtered through limestone caves, so there is a higher level of calcium and a resulting crisp minerality in the sake. $50/720ml bottle
Tatenokawa 50 Nakadori Junmai Daiginjo (Yamagata)
Sadly, soon to be discontinued!
Did you know?/Fun Facts: In 2010, Tatenokawa became the first brewery in Yamagata prefecture to brew only Junmai Daiginjo grade sake. The discontinuation of this wonderful sake is due to a shortage of the local Dewasansan rice. Very limited quantity still available for purchase!
Full and soft, with a mellow golden tint and a fragrant bouquet of apple, quince, and cherry. A unique combination of rich and dry flavors, with solid acidity. Gorgeous and substantial, and though the purity of the water is distinctly expressed, that pleasant acidity is what ties it all together. Saké Nomi’s second best-seller in 2019. $45/720 ml bottle
Denshin Haru “Spring” Junmai Ginjo (Fukui)
Limited seasonal release! This nama (unpasteurized) genshu (undiluted) has a brilliant golden hue with a gorgeous floral and candied bouquet. Richly flavored, with intense ripe peach fruitiness on the palate. Viscous, almost syrupy texture is nicely contrasted with perfect acidity.
Did you know?/Fun Facts: Haru is the fresh, "nouveau," unpasteurized version of Denshin Yuki ("Snow") Junmai Ginjo (available year-round), and the brewery recycles pieces of the label from one sake to create the other (check the photo!). Also, for what it's worth, Kastuyama, Fukui, where the brewery is located, is known as the "Dinosaur Kingdom" since more fossils have been discovered there than any other area in Japan. $45/720 ml bottle
Narutotai “Ginjo Shiboritate” Nama Genshu (Tokushima)
Did you know?/Fun Facts: The brewery was established in 1804, making it the oldest brewery in Tokushima prefecture, and the current president is the family's 10th generation. Known as the "oil can" in Seattle, the concept for the packaging is an image of the fresh, unpasteurized, undiluted sake going from the big fermentation tank directly to this smaller one so we can enjoy the sake at its freshest best. The bold flavor profile characteristics make it great for "western" food, too.
It’s baaaaack! Yeasty, sweet grain aromas. Soft, full, gentle mouthfeel, with ripened fruit sweetness and slight minerality. Lingering finish shows a touch of mint. The “oil can” would be ideal at a barbecue, or with fatty sashimi. The brewery was established in 1804. $50/720 ml can
Tedorikawa Kinka “Gold Blossom” Daiginjo (Ishikawa) Floral nose, with notes reminiscent of dates and raisins. Mild spice, minerality, and cinnamon notes on the palate. Subtly layered, soft and settled. Deep, rich, mature, and mellow, especially for a namazake (unpasteurized saké). From the brewery featured in the documentary, The Birth of Saké (2015).
Did you know?/Fun Facts: The brewery was established in 1870, and the current president/toji is the family's 6th generation. The Birth of Saké documentary showed some of the challenges the brewery faces as a small player in the market, but as a result of the popularity of the film, the brewery found it had a new, perhaps more envious problem of not being able to keep up with increased demand!
$45/720 ml bottle (New, reduced price!)
Okunomatsu Ginjo (Fukushima)
Clean, layered, and balanced. Reminiscent of fresh spring water. Mildly fragrant grape and pear aromas. Fantastic cost performance/"bang for your buck." Did you know?/Fun Facts: Founded in 1716, this is the first brewery to use an automated pasteurizer, which showers the already filled bottles with hot water, so the the brewery developed a special cap to withstand the resulting internal pressure. Champion Sake of the International Wine Challenge 2018. $32/720 ml bottle