More Reviews

Reviews for 2018

August 2018 - World Sake Challenge

August 2018 - World Sake Challenge
This month's Wine feature is World Sake Challenge Wines

World Sake Challenge Reviews

Asahi Shuzo  Dassai 23 Junmai Daiginjo Sake
97 points
$92
White gold color. Aromas and flavors of melon and pineapple relish, yuzu shrub, hint of tarragon and bean sprout, and mirin with an vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a complex, very long pineapples and starfruit in sweet cream, almost-ripe strawberry, and daikon and jicama finish. A superb world-class daiginjo with fantastically rich and appealing flavors.
Ninki-Ichi  Daiginjo Sake
95 points
$150
Light silvery emerald straw color. Aromas and flavors of pineapple husk, rice pudding, sea spray, peanut and almond butters, lychee blossom, and rice paper with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, delightful, very long pineapple in coconut milk with mint, candied papaya and mango, radish and sweet peas, and bamboo and cashew fruit finish. A supple, fruity and chewy daiginjo that is sure to satisfy fans of Alsacian Gewurztraminer.
Joto  Junmai Ginjo Sake
94 points
$26.99
Brilliant silvery emerald straw color. Aromas of rye, violet, melons, red apple, and toasted sesame with a round, crisp, fruity medium body and a seamless, interesting, medium-long anisette biscotti, taro dessert, tapioca, and ginger powder finish. A silky-smooth, starchy Junmai Ginjo that will be excellent with pate.
94 points $26.99
Kenbishi  Mizuho Junmai Sake
94 points
$42
Rich yellow straw color. Roasted, attractive aromas and flavors of toasted rice with tamari and butter, honey roasted nuts, and carob with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, appealing, long nectarines with malted chocolate, figs and melon rind, and praline finish. A complex combination of sweet and savory tones makes this a natural choice for pairings; sherry-lovers need apply!
Kurosawa  Junmai Kimoto Sake
93 points
$25
Brilliant emerald straw color. Aromas and flavors of bananas foster, mangoes on a stick with chili powder, lipstick, and smoked herbs with a satiny, bright, fruity medium body and a warming, amusing, medium-long spiced apples with caramelized bacon, coconut custard, cashew fruit, and honeyed jicama and endive finish. A savory and appealing and finely balanced kimoto that will be very versatile.
Okunomatsu  Ginjo Sake
93 points
$30
Light straw green color. Aromas and flavors of spiced dried pineapple kiwi and papaya, delicate cashew butter, hint of kidd leather, and orchid and mint with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a sleek, appealing, medium-long ripe starfruit, melon, and nectarine, banana in coconut water, and sweet lettuce finish. An ethereal and tasty ginjo that drinks like a daiginjo and will appeal to Italian pinot grigio drinkers.
Yamanashi Meijo  Shichiken Junmai Ginjo Sake
93 points
$35
Bright silvery emerald straw color. Aromas and flavors of star anise, spearmint, starfruit, and tarragon with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity light body and a seamless, complex, medium-long strawberry dust, aloe, and salt finish. An elegant Junmai Ginjo with delicate fruits and an exceptional mouthfeel; divine.
Okunomatsu  Daiginjo Shizuku 18th Generation Sake
93 points
$150
Pale silvery emerald straw color. Aromas and flavors of macadamia nut brittle, dried papaya and coconut trail mix, roasted apples with honey butter, and egg whites with toast with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, complex, long frosted raisin bran, agave, peach cobbler with sweet tea, pineapple in coconut water, rice pudding, and apple candy finish. A powerfully delicious, fruit tsunami of a sake.
Yuki No Bosha  Junmai Gingo Sake
92 points
$31.99
Pale silvery emerald straw color. Fruity aromas and flavors of pineapple chunks in a cedar cowl, fruitcake, pink peppercorn on key lime, and guava herb tea with a silky, crisp, fruity full body and a tingling, delightful, medium-long pineapple kefir, spiced melon, and pepper finish. A bright, tropical junmai bursting with flavor.
92 points $31.99
Tohoku Meijo  Hatsumago Junmai Daiginjo Shozui Sake
92 points
$50
Brilliant silvery emerald straw color. Spicy aromas of apple-cinnamon yogurt, baking spices, mulberry, fresh cut grass, clove studded orange peel, and soy glazed walnuts with a round, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a warming, nuanced, long key lime cheesecake, buttered brioche, and green peppercorn finish. An excellent Daiginjo with endless complexities and fine structure.
Yaegaki  Mu Black Label Junmai Daiginjo Sake
91 points
$50
Clear silvery straw color. Umami aromas of taro custard, sunflower oil, pickled plum, and Chinese 5 spice with a silky, lively, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, complex, long white tea, lime spritzed honeydew, and strawberry yogurt finish. A mouthwatering Daiginjo that craves fatty fish or rich sauces.
Okunomatsu  Tokubetsu Junmai Sake
90 points
$25
Clear silvery straw color. Sweet aromas and flavors of honeydew melon, strawberry cream cheese, asian pear, coconut cake, seasoned seaweed snack, and lemon-lime cordial with a silky, soft, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, buoyant bazooka gum and brandied bananas finish. A fruit-forward Junmai with a dry appeal; very food friendly.
Hananomai  Katana Ginjo Sake
90 points
$38
Clear white gold color. Umami aromas and flavors of ghee, tamari, pearled barley, and honey-orange candies with a satiny, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a polished, complex, very long underripe melon, peppercorns, lychee, broth, and black tea finish. A concentrated, umami-forward Junmai Ginjo that will enhance a variety of meals.
Eiko Fuji  Ban Ryu Honjonzo Sake
88 points
$18.99
Brilliant silvery straw color. Aromas and flavors of overripe pear and banana, dried pineapple, potato peel, and green grape skin and aloe leaf with a silky, bright, fruity medium body and a graceful, interesting, medium-long asian pear, honeyed pineapple, and honeydew in sweet cream finish. A rock solid honjozo with nice tropical fruit and a delicate inviting and gently warming style.
88 points $18.99
Joto  Junmai Sake
87 points
$22.99
Silvery straw color. Aromas and flavors of tapioca, peach jam, cashew brittle, and papaya and paw paw with a round, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and a sleek, medium-long apple custard tart, candied yams, pepper, and blue raspberry finish. A juicy, fruity, easy-drinking junmai with pleasing warmth.
87 points $22.99
Nagai  Mizubasho Ginjo Sake
87 points
$28
Brilliant silver color. Fruity, tropical aromas and flavors of ripe pineapple husk, kiwis and melons in cream, rice candy wrapper, and sugar snap pea with a silky, bright, fruity medium body and a tingling, charming, medium-long sliced pineapple and papaya in coconut milk, radish sprouts, quince, and delicate herbs finish. A bright and fruity ginjo that will appeal to chardonnay drinkers.
Yaegaki  Mu Junmai Daiginjo Sake
87 points
$30
Silvery straw color. Aromas of sweet relish, cebollitas, ripe apple, and eucalyptus with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body and a smooth, medium-length rice paper, key lime yogurt, and marshmallow finish. A very clean Junmai Daiginjo for palate cleansing between bites of sashimi.
Kenbishi  Kuromatsu Honjozo Sake
87 points
$38
Pale emerald straw color. Attractive, toasty aromas and flavors of toasty nougat, soy sautéed mushroom, toasted zucchini pretzel bread, and roasted banana and peach with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, complex, long cocoa-dusted tropical fruits, chicory latte, honey roasted chestnuts, and pepper finish. A rich, flavor-packed honjozo with lots of fruit and roasted nuances.
Hananomai  Katana Junmai Daiginjo Sake
86 points
$25
Clear silvery straw color. Inviting aromas of aloe, kiwi yogurt, licorice, and shortbread with a supple, lively, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a charming, medium-length cocoa butter and dry-roasted almond finish. An appetizing and multidimensional sake with great food affinity.
Tohoku Meijo  Hatsumago Kimoto Junmai Sake
86 points
$25
Light white gold color. Aromas and flavors of milk chocolate caramel bonbon, coconut macaron, rain water, and brunost with a soft, bright, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long honey almond butter, sweet potato, and powdered sugar finish. A pleasant and satisfying kimoto.
Maboroshi  Junmai Gingo Sake
86 points
$33.99
Silvery straw color. Aromas and flavors of white pepper and mesquite dust, haricot verte with tarragon, melon balls in coconut milk, and tapioca pudding with bananas with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a tingling, intricate, long fresh fruit salad, quince and cherry relish, radish, and birch bark water finish. A juicy,fruit-driven sake with a crowd-pleasing style that will appeal to white wine drinkers.
86 points $33.99
Yaegaki  Draft Sake
85 points
$5
Best Buy
Brilliant emerald straw color. Aromas of peach cake, sour cream, and butterscotch disks with a soft, dryish light body and a peppery, brisk lime pith and nickel finish. An easy drinking sake for impromptu sushi.
85 points $5 Best Buy
Joto  Junmai Nigori Sake
85 points
$22.99
Silvery straw color. Aromas and flavors of creamy rice pudding, cajeta, papaya custard pie, and banana creme fraiche with a lightly tannic, bright, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a tingling, buoyant spiced pineapple, vanilla caramel bonbon, honeyed radish, and rice water finish. A fun dessert sake that is sure to please.
85 points $22.99
Kurosawa Ginrei  Junmai Daiginjo Sake
85 points
$35
Pale silvery straw color. Aromas and flavors of pineapple upside down cake, ambrosia, kiwi and jicama, and rice candy wrapper with a satiny, bright, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, engaging, long asian pear, pineapple custard, white chocolate toffee with dried cherries, and iced chai finish. A nuanced blend of fruit and savory flavors make this a versatile sake for all occasions.
Nagai  Mizubasho Junmai Daiginjo Sake
85 points
$35
Silvery straw yellow color. Aromas and flavors of creamy bread pudding and nougat, gooseberry vinaigrette, grilled fennel and pear, and carnation and mustard with a satiny, bright, fruity medium-to-full body and an effortless, delightful, medium-long spiced apples in sweet cream and banana cream pie finish. A round and toothsome daiginjo sake with a crowd-pleasing style.
Joto  Daiginjo Sake
85 points
$42.99
White gold color. Aromas and flavors of pear yogurt with grapes, white clay, clove cigarette wrapper, and mossy earth with a supple, soft, off-dry medium body and a medium-length pear nectar, toffee, seaweed salad, and hint of anise cookie finish. A very fruity, off-dry sake that will appeal to moscato drinkers.
85 points $42.99
Tohoku Meijo  Makiri Junmai Daiginjo Sake
85 points
$50
Light white gold color. Dusty, earthy aromas and flavors of plantain chips, sticky rice with spice mangoes, hint of caramel apple with nuts, water chestnut and balsa, and lava stones with a satiny, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body and a smooth, complex, long melon and celery juice, radish sprouts, spiced nuts and lemon rind, and caramelized mushrooms finish. Complex interplay of umami and fruit notes make this a fun dance on the palate.
Shichi Hon  Junmai Sake
84 points
$28.99
Light silvery emerald straw color. Curious aromas of banana peels stuffed with sticky rice, hint of paper mache, white peppercorns, and hint of paint and glue and balsa dust with a silky, fruity light-to-medium body and a seamless, interesting, cheery melon, sweet potato, mealy apple, and nutskin finish. A rustic and somewhat challenging junmai for the table.
84 points $28.99
Tohoku Meijo  Makiri Junmai Gingo Sake
84 points
$38
Silver color. Aromas of salty rice crackers, tangerine peel, coconut water, Belgian yeast, and white plum preserve with a slightly chewy, bright, dry light body and a brisk herbs de Provence finish. A solid approachable sake for anytime sipping.
Ninki-Ichi  Sparkling Natural Sake
83 points
$15
Hazy silvery emerald straw color. Aromas of cucumber shrub and white strawberry with a supple, tangy, spritzy, moderately sweet light-to-medium body and a smooth, easy circus peanut and strawberry creme finish. A zingy sparkling sake for fans of pet nat wines or sour beers.
Shortcut: http://www.tastings.com/Calendar-Wine/Review-2018-08-05-World-Sake-Challenge.aspx