Kinokuniya Bunzaemon Junmai Ginjo
Please note, this product is not available for shipping. It is available for free pick-up or delivery in Portland, OR. Kinokuniya's Junmai Ginjo is smooth, a...
Please note, this product is not available for shipping. It is available for free pick-up or delivery in Portland, OR.
Kinokuniya's Junmai Ginjo is smooth, aromatic, juicy, and slightly savory. It brings notes of strawberry, apple, and mango along with earthiness and a touch of mushroom-like umami. I'm fairly certain this is a Kimoto-method sake. The acidity and subdued funk state it clearly. I'd also wager that it is non-charcoal filtered, given the warm straw hue of the sake in the glass. This sake is made from a combination of Yamada Nishiki and Omachi, two of the most highly regarded species of sake rice.
You might have noticed the brewery's name: Nakano Biochemical Creation. This is quite a distinctly Japanese situation. The brewery does in fact operate as a biochemical food processor, while also brewing stellar sake. Their website shows images of labcoat clad scientists analyzing beakers, undoubtedly making plum powders and extracts, alongside pictures of the sake brewers hard at work in a modern facility making sake using some of the oldest and most difficult methods out there (Kimoto method). I'd like to say that the juxtaposition is comical but by the quality of this sake, it's clear that the company and their master brewer truly have something to be proud of. It's evident that the executives of Nakano Biochemical Creation have employed a skilled and visionary brewmaster, and left him alone with state-of-the-art equipment to pursue his unfettered vision of quality sake. If anything, the industrial setting that this sake emerges from is simply a factor in this level of quality being available for such a low price. (Fans of Dassai, Hakutsuru, and Hakushika may know what I'm talking about here.)
Kinokuniya's sakes are, to my knowledge, new to the United States as of November 2020. I'm glad they are here. For their relatively low prices, they are some of the most expressive, juicy, and smartly balanced sake that I've recently had.
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