July 2013 - 2013 World Saké Challenge

This month's Wine feature is 2013 World Saké Challenge Wines
2013 World Saké Challenge Reviews
202782
Hakutsuru
Junmai Dai Ginjo Sho-Une Sake
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202783
Hakutsuru
Superior Junmai Ginjo Sake
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203045
Muromachi Shuzo
Sakura-Muromachi Kiwami-Daiginjo "Muromachi Jidai" Saké
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203054
Watanabe Sake Brewing Co.
"Horai Gokui-Den" Daiginjo Saké
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202784
Hakutsuru
Draft Sake
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202781
Hakutsuru
Sayuri Nigori Sake
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202791
Kokumi
Tokubetsu Junmai Saké
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202760
Konteki
"Tears of Dawn" Daiginjo Saké
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203053
Watanabe Sake Brewing Co.
"Horai Chougin-Shizuku" Daiginjo Saké
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203043
Okunomatsu
Junmai Daiginjo Premium Sparkling Saké
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203038
Okunomatsu
Shizukuzake "Juhachidai Ihei" Daiginjo Saké
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202761
Tozai
"Living Jewel" Junami Saké
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202854
Manotsuru Kura
"Demon Slayer" Saké
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202856
Manotsuru Kura
"Countless Visions" Saké
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203041
Okunomatsu
Zenmai Ginjo "G2" Saké
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203042
Okunomatsu
Sakura Daiginjo Saké
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203039
Okunomatsu
Tokubetsu Junmai Saké
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203040
Okunomatsu
Ginjo Saké
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202853
Manotsuru Kura
"Crane" Junmai Saké
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203048
Miyazaki Honten
Junmai Ginjo "Miyanoyuki" Sake
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203049
Miyazaki Honten
Junmai Daiginjo "Nyukon Miyanoyuki" Sake
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203044
Okunomatsu
Junmai Daiginjo Sparkling Sake
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202852
Manotsuru Kura
"Crane" Karakuchi Saké
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203046
Muromachi Shuzo
Sakura-Muromachi Junmai "Omachi" Saké
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
203047
Miyazaki Honten
Junmai "Kissui Miyanoyuki" Saké
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.
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202762
Tozai
"Snow Maiden" Junmai Nigori Saké
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
202855
Manotsuru Kura
"Bulzai" Saké
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
Date Tasted: in our Chicago tasting lab
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