Monday, April 09, 2007

4/5/07: Red Saké Revisited

In my second post, I mentioned a red saké by Kiku Masamuné I took back from Japan. It turns out that there is a red saké is available in the form of Kikusakari Asamurasaki (SMV: -3, Acidty: 2.5, Rice: Asamurasaki, Seimaibuai: N/A, Yeast: Brewer's Original) by Kiuchi Brewery from Ibaraki Prefecture.

With the Staff Training on saké on the schedule, I made sure I put Asamurasaki on the list of bottles to sample. So, without further ado, here is my report:

The nose is funky and gamey (almost made me think the bottle was off), bit rustic with elements of strawberry. The taste is reminiscent of Japanere red beans and strawberries. It is full-bodied, with surprisingly clean finish.

Two thoughts I had were that it was lighter, but had similar tasting profile to Kiku Masamuné's version of the red, and if compared with red wine, it reminded me of a rustic styled gamay from Burgundy.

Although it would not qualify as my everyday saké, it certainly is worth trying at least once though it would set you back $34.

Of the five sakés chosen for training, I had tried three before. The other one I haven't tried was the newly released Masumi "Arabashiri" Junmai Ginjo Nama Genshu (SMV: -2, Acidity: N/A, Rice: Miyamanishiki, Seimaibuai: 55%, Yeast: Assoc #7). Being a nama genshu, I always found its palate to be intense and vibrant, and this vintage was no exception.

Well, an interesting thing about saké is that while they try to be consistent, there may be some differences year to year. In that vain, while I found this year's version to have the same core flavors of Japanese pear and slight earthiness, I found the nose to be more intense, and flavor to be bit sweeter with longer finish. If this were a wine, I'd call it a riper vintage. This saké is now available in the US for roughly $32.

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