Monday, March 30, 2009

Shimeharitsuru “Jun” Junmai Ginjo

I always look forward to opening a new Saké, one of those I purchased from Sakaya in New York City. I continue not to be disappointed in any that I have tasted, and have also found some exceptional ones. The other night, I found another exceptional Saké and I will have to find more of it.

The Shimeharitsuru “Jun” Junmai Ginjo ($32-720ml) is from the Niigata Prefecture. It was made from Gohyakumangoku ("Black Dragon") rice, that was polished to 50%. Though this Saké is labeled as a Ginjo, it technically could qualify as a Daiginjo due to the amount of polishing. This Saké has an alcohol content of 15.5% and a Saké Meter Value of +3, which means it tends to be more on the dry side.

This Saké was essentially clear in color, almost looking like water. It had a very mild nose, with a slight aroma of tropical fruit and rice. When I tasted it, I found it to be silky smooth, clean and pure. It was a bit full bodied with subtle and complex fruit flavors. The finish was long and clean, such a pleasing and refreshing drink. I paired this Saké with a panko-crusted Tilapia in a black garlic-butter sauce. The Saké went well with the slightly sweet taste of the sauce and the moist, flavorful fish. As "Jun" means "pure," it is a very apt descriptor for this Saké.

I heartily recommended this Saké and I think it would please those who already love Saké as well as those new to Saké. This would be good whether you drank it on its own or paired with food, especially seafood. I am going to be thinking about this Saké for quite some time.


Jon said...

Hi Richard, just ran across this post. Jun is good sake! I'm surprised you can get it in America. I felt like I should point out that 'gohyakumangoku' actually means '5 million rocks', but there IS a famous brewer called Black Dragon (Kokuryu), so maybe that's what you were thinking of. I've visited a lot of sake places recently, so please read or link if you'd like.

Richard Auffrey said...

Thanks Jon for the info. I know I saw somewhere else where they said it meant "Black Dragon" but I now realize it was wrong, and I actually have it correctly elsewhere. I definitely appreciate though pointing out my mistake.