Friday, August 21, 2009
Bunraku "Nihonjin No Wasuremono" Yamahai Junmai
Yes, it was the intriguing square, blue bottle that first caught my eye at a wine store in Portland. I picked up the bottle and then read the label, finding it was a Saké which I had not tasted before. Plus, I saw that it was a Yamahai, making it a rarer type of Saké. Thus I bought a couple bottles to check it out.
The Bunraku "Nihonjin No Wasuremono" ("Forgotten Japanese Spirit") Yamahai Junmai ($15.99/300ml) is made in the Saitama Prefecture. This Saké has an alcohol content of 15%-15% and a Saké Meter Value of +5, making it a dry Saké. It is a Yamahai, which means that the brewer uses native yeasts, those just floating in the air of the brewery. It is a very risky process so very few brewers make this style any more. Yet when they succeed, a Yamahai can be rich and acidic, much more like a red wine. They often too have a very earthy taste.
This Saké certainly had earthiness, both in its smell and taste. Its flavor also had some smokiness, steamed rice flavor and a bit of melon. All of the flavors blended together well, creating a unique taste which I found appealing. It had a fairly lengthy finish and I think this would be a great Saké to pair with a heartier dish, maybe a stew or game meat. This may not appeal to a newcomer to Saké because of its earthier taste but a Saké lover will likely enjoy this very much.