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Reviews for 2013

July 2013 - 2013 World Saké Challenge

July 2013 - 2013 World Saké Challenge
This month's Wine feature is 2013 World Saké Challenge Wines

2013 World Saké Challenge Reviews

Hakutsuru  Junmai Dai Ginjo Sho-Une Sake
96 points
Clear pale golden yellow color. Attractive umami driven aromas of salty sautéed mushrooms and soy beans, grilled coconut, and caramelized nuts with a satiny, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a honeyed nectarine and creamy vanilla-pear custard accented finish. A delicious, artfully crafted (oak aged?) sake for sipping or the table.
Hakutsuru  Superior Junmai Ginjo Sake
95 points
Clear with a very faint, straw green cast. Aromas of anise, coconut custard, Asian pear, anise, and melon rind with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium-to-full body and a long, creamy, delicately spicy apple skin, parsley and chestnut accented finish. Delicious and balanced.
Muromachi Shuzo  Sakura-Muromachi Kiwami-Daiginjo "Muromachi Jidai" Saké
95 points
$120
Clear. Vibrant aromas of pineapple, yuzu, lilac, chive, creamy nougat and poached pear with a silky, fruity medium-full body and a long, perfumed coconut water, bubblegum, radish, and praline finish. Deliciously bold.
Watanabe Sake Brewing Co.  "Horai Gokui-Den" Daiginjo Saké
94 points
$100
Clear with a very faint nickel straw cast. Aromas of pineapple yogurt, rice, and Asian pear with a silky, fruity medium-to-full body and along, vanilla nut brittle, apple, papaya-coconut custard, peppery radish, and grassy earth finish. A rich, complex and nuanced sake of the highest order.
Hakutsuru  Draft Sake
93 points
Clear with a silver straw cast. Aromas of white chocolate, nut, rice candy, and young coconut with a soft, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and nice notes of sweet cream, pear skin and sweet potato on the zesty finish. Excellent vibrancy and table appeal.
Hakutsuru  Sayuri Nigori Sake
93 points
Opaque bone color. Aromas yams, honey roasted pineapples and apples, and nut brittle with a velvety, fruity medium-to-full body and a pineapple-coconut sorbet, almond, melon ice, and radish sprout accented finish. A nicely balanced, finely textured, and precisely made nigori.
Kokumi  Tokubetsu Junmai Saké
93 points
$20
Best Buy
Clear with a nickel straw cast. Aromas of mild Asian pear, plantain custard, mango, and radish with a satiny, fruity medium body and a toasted nut, apple, and honeydew gelato finish with wonderful, vivacious acidity. A flavorful and highly appealing sake for sipping or with spicy maki.
93 points $20 Best Buy
Konteki  "Tears of Dawn" Daiginjo Saké
93 points
$39
Clear with a platinum straw cast. Very attractive aromas and flavors of ripe Asian pear, pineapple, and spiced melon with a silky, fruity medium-to-full body and coconut sorbet, fruit gum, honeyed jicama and nut finish. A delicious, fruity sake for all occasions.
Watanabe Sake Brewing Co.  "Horai Chougin-Shizuku" Daiginjo Saké
93 points
$100
Clear. Aromas of rain water, coconut cream, melon, peppered shittake, and bamboo shoot with a satiny, fruity medium-to-full body and a vanilla, praline, sweet potato, and delicate spice finish. A seamless artfully balanced sake with great flavor and structure.
Okunomatsu  Junmai Daiginjo Premium Sparkling Saké
92 points
$110
Clear color with a platinum blue cast. Attractive aromas of nectarine jam, white grape, coconut water, and nougat are quite vinous with an effervescent fruity-yet-dry medium body and a tangy ripe apple, honeyed pear and spice finish. Very pure and flavorful.
Okunomatsu  Shizukuzake "Juhachidai Ihei" Daiginjo Saké
92 points
$150
Clear color with a silvery cast. Mild aromas of vanilla yogurt, dried coconut and peppered melon with a satiny, fruity medium-to-full body and a very well-balanced and vibrant finish with notes of creamy vanilla, sweet and peppery spices and kiwi. A roller coaster of flavor.
Tozai  "Living Jewel" Junami Saké
91 points
$17.50
Best Buy
Clear. Lightly yeasty aromas of dough, Asian pear, creamy nougat with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a refreshing melon, kiwi coconut cream, and dusty potato accented finish. A vibrant junmai sake that will excel with spicy Asian dishes and appeal to wine drinkers.
91 points $17.50 Best Buy
Manotsuru Kura  "Demon Slayer" Saké
90 points
$13.99
Best Buy
Clear. Aromas and flavors of vanilla yogurt, sweet potato, spiced nuts, and cooked rice with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium body and an elegant, cream, jicama, radish and grassy earth nuanced finish. Subtly flavorful and very elegantly styled; will be a great compliment to sushi.
90 points $13.99 Best Buy
Manotsuru Kura  "Countless Visions" Saké
90 points
$15.99
Best Buy
Pearl white color with a steely cast. Aromas of cream soda, coconut flan, anise, and melon rind with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a cream, lightly minty and spicy finish. An elegant and flavorful nigori.
90 points $15.99 Best Buy
Okunomatsu  Zenmai Ginjo "G2" Saké
90 points
$25
Clear color. Aromas and flavors of whipped cream, white chocolate, and melon with a soft, dryish light body and a toasted nut, water chestnut, balsa, and delicate sweet spice finish. Very elegant and balanced.
Okunomatsu  Sakura Daiginjo Saké
90 points
$30
Clear color. Aromas of vanilla nut brittle, coconut water, and papaya custard with a silky, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a pineapple sorbet, meringue, and salted radish accented finish. A soft, alluring sake with a nice balance of fruit.
Okunomatsu  Tokubetsu Junmai Saké
89 points
$20
Clear color. Mild aromas suggest anise, nuts, papaya and cream with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a vanilla bark, cayenne on jicama, and grassy earth finish. Solid.
Okunomatsu  Ginjo Saké
89 points
$20
Clear color. Aromas and flavors of cream, nougat, lychee, and ripe pineapple husk with a supple dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a honeydew, spiced pear and radish accented finish. A rock solid sake that will cover a lot of bases.
Manotsuru Kura  "Crane" Junmai Saké
88 points
$11.99
Best Buy
Clear with a silver cast. Umami driven aromas of marinated mushroom, chestnut, edamame, and coconut husk with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a long, delicately spicy, coconut milk, ground nut, and gravely mineral finish. A great choice for tempura.
88 points $11.99 Best Buy
Miyazaki Honten  Junmai Ginjo "Miyanoyuki" Sake
88 points
$30
Aromas and flavors of coconut flakes, toasted nuts, and dried fruits are granola-like with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a crunchy pear, snap pea, and grassy earth finish.
Miyazaki Honten  Junmai Daiginjo "Nyukon Miyanoyuki" Sake
88 points
$110
Aromas of green pear, birch bark, bath towel, and vanilla yogurt nuts with a silky, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an overripe melon starfruit, pepper, talc, and cream accented finish.
Okunomatsu  Junmai Daiginjo Sparkling Sake
87 points
$10
Best Buy
Clear color with a nickel cast and a fine mousse. Aromas of white chocolate, on nut ume plum, and apple jelly with a fruity, frothy light body and a breezy, spiced apple and radish finish.
87 points $10 Best Buy
Manotsuru Kura  "Crane" Karakuchi Saké
87 points
$10.99
Best Buy
Clear with a nickel cast. Aromas of coconut milk, banana skin, shittake, and overripe pear with a silky, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a very even and balanced bamboo shoot, straw and earth accented finish. A rock solid honjozo.
87 points $10.99 Best Buy
Muromachi Shuzo  Sakura-Muromachi Junmai "Omachi" Saké
87 points
$25
Clear with a very faint straw cast. Aromas of Asian pear, cherry, delicate anise, and ripe pineapple with a silky, fruity-yet-dry medium body and a tangy, peppery radish, spice, coconut fiber, and straw accented finish. A vibrant, flavorful sake for sipping or the table.
Miyazaki Honten  Junmai "Kissui Miyanoyuki" Saké
87 points
$30
Clear. Aromas and flavors of yogurt covered nut, toasted coconut water, floral honey, and melon with a supple, fruity-yet-dry light-to-medium body and a bamboo shoot and peppered mushroom accented finish. A fine combination of fruity and savory umami notes that will be great with tempura and teriyaki.
Tozai  "Snow Maiden" Junmai Nigori Saké
85 points
$17.50
Bright creamy white color. Aromas of sour cream, coconut-pineapple puree and crushed almonds with a soft, chunky, fruity medium-to-full body and a apple-pear cider and wheat grass finish.
85 points $17.50
Manotsuru Kura  "Bulzai" Saké
84 points
$14.99
Clear. Lightly yeasty brioche, yogurt and a nut brittle aromas with a soft, fruity sweet medium body and a pina colada, bubblegum, and apple nut muffin, and radish accented finish. A fruity quaffer.
84 points $14.99
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