Koshitsukano Hirai, Junmai Sake, Niigata, Japan
Overview of the Sake
Today’s Hirai Junmai is from Niigata, the Napa of Japan. Prized for its pristine water, its immaculate reservoirs are the result of snowmelt from remote mountain ranges that transform into elegant and captivating styles of sake with pure, defined flavors.
Like great wines, a sake of this character is great for many occasions from pizza night to Thai food, or even spaghetti and meatballs. Its richness on the palate, and powerful flavors (thanks to the incredible quality of rice and water inside this Junmai), make this sake magical with spice and complex ingredients that otherwise overpower gentle, light-bodied wines.
The word Junmai literally translates to Pure Rice (Jun Mai), meaning no additives go into this bottling. Like wine, great sake begins with simple ingredients: rice defines the richness and focus; water provides the enviable silken texture; yeast is responsible for the aromas; and Koji the Japanese term for the transition from starch to sugar, which allows for alcoholic fermentation.
Hirai Junmai utilizes Gohyakumangoku rice which provides roundness and structure and combined with the softness of the water the final product is simply memorable. The second ingredient, yeast, is a strain known as Emperor Sake—a highly awarded variety that leaves aromas of peach blossom, pineapple, and guava in its wake.
Kake: Koshi Ibuki
(新潟県) Niigata Prefecture, Japan
HIRAI Junmai Sake is clean, crisp, dry, and elegant. Named for the swans that migrate to the local lake, HIRAI is an ideal sake for those who are new to sake but appreciate a quality hand-crafted style. Local ingredients include wild yeast that the brewery propagates itself and very soft water from the on-site well. The savory aroma of freshly cooked rice with hints of tropical fruit leads to a balanced mouthfeel and a clean and crisp finish. The brewery was established in 1781 in the Niigata prefecture on the west coast of Japan. The purity of HIRAI Junmai Sake is a reflection of freshly fallen snow covering beautiful Niigata villages.
Savory finish that cleanses the pallet for the next bite.
About The Category
The Junmai category is historically the “way sake was.” These brews can have their rice milled to many different levels from 80% with 20% removal to 65% with 45% removal as long as the milling percentages are on the label.
Product size: 750mL
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