This unpasteurized sake is exciting and lively with a nose full of citrus, apple blossom and shizo. The palate is equally as bold featuring fresh persimmons, marshmallow and slightly underipe stone fruit. The finish is clean showing soft minerality.
POLISHING RATIO: 60%
SMV +/-: +5.0
RICE KOJI: GOHYAKUMANGOKU
RICE KAKE: KOSHI IBUKI
YEAST STRAIN: K1801
FOOD PAIRINGS: Sushi Nigiri with fatty fish, oysters, omelettes, Lighter Italian, Chinese or French dishes
CHEESE PAIRINGS: Mildly ripe Coulommiers or Brie, Italian Raschera
TASTING NOTES: This fresh, subtle Honjozo has a lovely nose of cantaloupe, leek, fresh clay and pear. With just a hint of sweetness, the palate is light bodied with alluring flavors of burnt caramel, chalk and marsh-mallow and a classic Honjozo clean, dry finish.
The fanciful name "Otoko no Yujyo", represents a feeling for which the sake was made, to honor brotherly love, between comrades.
POLISHING RATIO: 65%
ALCOHOL: 15.0 - 16.0%
SMV +/-: +8.0
RICE KOJI: HITOGOKOCHI
RICE KAKE: TOCHIGI 14
YEAST STRAIN: KYOKAI 901
FOOD PAIRINGS: Versatile with all foods, Grilled Fish, Paella, Smoked Fish, Fried Fish or Fried Chicken
CHEESE PAIRINGS: Foggy Morning, Prima Donna, Domaine de Village
Dry and lean in the nose with hints of celery, pear puree and anise. On the palate this junmai is soft and creamy on the palate with rich, savory flavors of mocha, hazelnut, spicy vanilla, ending with crisp acidity.
POLISHING RATIO: 80%
SMV +/-: +2.0%
RICE KOJI: Yamadanishiki
RICE KAKE: Yamadanishiki
YEAST STRAIN: Koshi Ibuki
FOOD PAIRINGS: Ideal with rustic Italian food, cheese and tomato centric or creamy pasta dishes
CHEESE PAIRINGS: Italian Raschera, Pecoria Reggiano
This Junmai Daiginjo has a beautiful nose full of banana, melon and star anise. The all natural brewing process gives this sake a bright fresh palate of plum, lime and minerality with a clean dry finish. A very food friendly sake, and is thought to be best after the meal with a light, smooth, rich cow's milk cheese.
POLISHING RATIO: 40%
SMV +/-: +1.0
RICE KOJI: HATTANISHIKI
RICE KAKE: HATTANISHIKI
YEAST STRAIN: PROPRIETARY YEAST
FOOD PAIRINGS: Poached Lobster, Seared Scallops, Tofu, Steamed Dumplings
CHEESE PAIRINGS: Brillat Savarin, Cambozola, Dulce Latte Gorgonzola, Mimolette
An inviting sake full of sweet spice, almond and smoke with a slight herbaceous character. Off dry, rich and almost chewy, the palate features melon, peach and mineral notes with a distinctively dry finish.
POLISHING RATIO: 55%
SMV +/-: +4.0
RICE KOJI: GOHYAKUMANGOKU
RICE KAKE: TAKENEMINO
YEAST STRAIN: PROPRIETARY YEAST
FOOD PAIRINGS: Duck, Chinese, Italian, Cured Meat, Sashimi, Carpaccio, Fresh Crab, Ceviche
CHEESE PAIRINGS: Pt. Reyes Tome, Asiago Mezzuna, Jeff Select Gouda
Sake Hoyo Kura No Hana Fair Maiden transparently light and touched with a sweet kiss of anise, Hoyo's winsome grace and charm are irresistible. Its floral aroma and luscious flavor extend a demure invitation to the world of sake enjoyment. Delicious as an aperitif, or with salads and light seafood dishes and at the sushi bar; goes perfectly with lobster and scallops. Best enjoyed cold, but not chilled.
Awards: Gold Medal, Daiginjo B class, 2002, 2003 and 2004 U.S. National Sake Appraisal
Rice Variety: Kura no Hana
Polishing Ratio: 45%
Alcohol Percentage: 15.5%
Sake Meter Value: -2.0
Yeast Type: Association 1601
The Uchigasaki Brewing Company Brewery
In 1620, Date Masamune, daimyo of present-day Miyagi Prefecture, ordered his retainer Uchigasaki Oribe to build a town one day's march from Sendai, on the road north to Aomori. In 1661, Oribe's son Sakuemon founded the Uchigasaki Sake Brewery, which has continued in production for 343 years and is the oldest brewery in the region. Little is known of those early days, and we can only surmise what the brewery's sakes tasted like then. But today we know exactly what to expect when we see a bottle with the brewery's Hoyo label on it. The sake inside will be gentle, reticent and charming, especially so in the case of ones made from regional rice strains like "Manamusume" and "Kura no Hana," which seem to lend themselves especially well to the brewery's delicately nuanced brewing style.
There are commentators who have called attention to the connection between sake and Buddhism, noting how, after all, it is the tiny microorganisms who do all the work, with human beings acting as mere coaches on the side. Brewmaster Shoji Kano lets them do the work, but ensures that their every need is sincerely and attentively met.
“If sakes were people,” one enthusiast commented recently, "Kura no Hana daiginjo would be a young girl playing gaily in a meadow.” By aspiring to produce a label that is light, winsome and graceful, the Uchigasaki Sake Brewery has produced one of the very few "crossover" sakes in the United States: Even flinty burgundy-sippers light up with a smile at first sip.
Philippe Milan Pommard AOC is 100% Pinot Noir
This wine has been aged in Oak (25% new Oak)
This is a little more structured and the style goes more toward the "vin de garde", or wines meant to age. This wine needs some food, or sometime in the decanter right now. It is well structured and reminds me of a Volnay. As a matter of fact, the parcel is located right next to Volnay. The finish is long and still quite juicy with chewy tannins lingering.
Arzuaga Reserva is made from 95% Tempranillo, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon and 1% Merlot.
Clean and bright ruby red with purple reflections. Great aromatic intensity, complex and elegant, where the compote of red fruits dominates. The palate is structured with silky, sweet tannins and a lingering finish.
Ideal with red meats (big game), roasted white meat, and blue cheese.
Plenty of cherry, smoky oak and bark on the nose, following through to a full body with round, chewy tannins that are laden with some vanilla-bean highlights. Creamy and nicely textured. Drink or hold."
- James Suckling (October 2020), 92 pts