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Reviews for 2019

August 2019 - World Sake Challenge

August 2019 - World Sake Challenge
This month's Wine feature is World Sake Challenge Wines

World Sake Challenge Reviews

Kurosawa  Junmai Kimoto Sake
94 points
$20
Best Buy
Pale straw color. Aromas and flavors of cashew toffee, custard, candied pineapple, sweet vanilla yogurt, cocoa powder, and dried apple with a satiny, lively, fruity light-to-medium body and a seamless, interesting, medium-length finish manifesting impressions of aged charcuterie finish. A juicy, full-flavor Kimoto; pair with spicy fare.
94 points $20 Best Buy
Joto  Junmai Nigori Sake
94 points
$22.99
Opaque straw color. Aromas of bavarian cream, caramel drizzled pineapple, and strawberry kefir with a creamy, crisp, fruity sweet light-to-medium body and a seamless, breezy cheese cake, whipped creme, and vanilla finish. A creamy and dreamy Nigori that’s pure and expressive.
94 points $22.99
Hakutsuru  Sho-Une Junmai Daiginjo Sake
94 points
$27
Straw color. Aromas of ripe melon, shiso, grapefruit zest, pear, rainwater, elderflower, caraway, and star anise with a velvety, lively, fruity full body and a layered, long apricot and teriyaki finish. A pure and balanced sake that is a delight to sip and savor; excellent for sushi and crisp summer salads.
Okunomatsu  Ginjo Sake
94 points
$30
Silvery straw color. Aromas of fresh grass, nutmeg, marinated mushrooms, ripe melon, lime-spritzed mango, galangal, and fine cheese with a round, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a tingling, nuanced, medium-long herbs and spices, white pepper, and carnation finish. An extroverted and rich Honjozo Ginjo that will be a stupendous meal pairing; try with French or Italian cuisines.
Okunomatsu  Shizuku 18th Generation Ihei Daiginjo Sake
94 points
$130
Silvery straw color. Aromas of granny smith apple, carnation, and lychee with a satiny, vibrant, fruity light body and a warming, interesting, medium-length ripe apricot, key lime, focaccia, toffee, custard, and sea salt finish. An upstanding Honjozo Daiginjo sake with great balance, bright acidity, and stylish profile.
G Joy  Junmai Gingo Genshu Sake
93 points
$20
Best Buy
Straw color. Aromas of whipped cream, coconut, yuzu, and flint with a lively, fruity medium-to-full body and a warming, long apricot stone, watermelon, mushroom, white pepper, and almond finish. A concentrated and warming sake best for rich meals; try with Chinese pork dishes or Korean barbecue.
93 points $20 Best Buy
Joto  Junmai Ginjo Sake
93 points
$22.99
Silvery straw color. Aromas and flavors of kiwi relish, strawberries in creme, and chevre with a satiny, lively, light body and a seamless, involved, medium-long finish that presents accents of chamomile, toasty crouton, and shitake finish. A vibrant and cheerful sake with the appeal of French Champagne; fruity, somewhat toasty, with mouthwatering acidity; cheers to your great taste.
93 points $22.99
Hananomai  Katana Junmai Daiginjo Sake
93 points
$35
Silvery straw color. Savory aromas of baked apple and hint of worcestershire sauce with a silky, vibrant, dryish light-to-medium body and a polished, interesting, medium-length flint, anise, crystalized ginger and lemon peel, and white tea with cream finish. An ethereal falsetto of a Junmai Daiginjo.
Yuki No Bosha  Junmai Gingo Sake
92 points
$31.99
Clear color. Aromas of strawberry leaf, rambutan, cherry, star anise, and lilac with a velvety, vibrant, fruity full body and a refreshing, medium-long toffee, apple, ginger and shortbread finish. An elegant, silky and fruity Junmai for fine seafood and sashimi.
92 points $31.99
Shichiken  Junmai Ginjo Sake
92 points
$35
White gold color. Aromas of mixed melon salad, woodruff, sarsaparilla, and slate with a satiny, crisp, fruity light body and a smooth, interesting, medium-long avocado and fresh daikon finish. A bright, off-dry sake with flavors that display a great balance of fruit and spice.
Hatsumago  Shozui Junmai Diaginjo
92 points
$40
Emerald straw color. Aromas of asian pear, butter poached starfruit, aged cheeses, and spiced toffee with a velvety, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body and a layered, medium-length béchamel, mint creme, and shitake mushroom finish. A creamy, concentrated Junmai Daiginjo that offers elegance, strength, and longevity.
Kurosawa  Daiginjo Premium Reserve Sake
91 points
$55
Silvery straw color. Aromas of toasted rice, melon yogurt, and pickled ginger with a supple, bright, dryish light body and an even, brisk underripe plum, rice cracker, whipped butter, and dried herbs finish. A smooth-sipping, soft-spoken Sake with great drinkability.
Hatsumago  Junmai Kimoto Sake
90 points
$27
Silver color. Aromas and flavors of slate, licorice, sarsaparilla, and honey with a velvety, vibrant, dry-yet-fruity medium body and a sleek, interesting, medium-long finish that presents nuances of béchamel, flint, and cracked pepper finish. A distinctive Kimoto Junmai with dark spice character and great pairing possibilities; try with beef.
Okunomatsu  Tokubetsu Junmai Sake
90 points
$27
Silvery straw color. Aromas of soy-glazed nuts, black sesame, nori, fresh croissant, and breadfruit with a satiny, crisp, fruity light body and a polished, complex, medium-long dried apricot, tarragon, jicama, and white grapefruit finish. A slightly savory, toasty Tokubetsu Sake with excellent balance; a special dinner pairing.
Momokawa  Pearl Junmai Nigori Genshu Sake
89 points
$14
Best Buy
Straw color. Aromas of crushed pineapple, starfruit, creme anglaise, marshmallow, and candied orange with a creamy, vibrant, off-dry medium body and a tingling, medium-length banana candies finish. A creamy fruit-forward treat for after-dinner sipping or spicy fare.
89 points $14 Best Buy
Kurosawa  Junmai Daiginjo Ginrei Sake
89 points
$35
Silvery emerald straw color. Aromas of starfruit, lychee, ginger, and musk with a satiny, vibrant, dryish light body and a smooth, compelling, medium-length arare, mochi, slate, black pepper, and coconut water finish. A precise, satiny sash of a Junmai Daiginjo that envelops the palate.
Moonstone  Cucumber Mint Sake
88 points
$13
Best Buy
Straw color. Aromas and flavors of cucumbers, lime-spritzed jicama, cream cheese, melon, and honey with a silky, crisp, light body and an effortless, medium-length finish. A tasty sake flavored with great restraint; pure cucumber essence shines making this a great beverage for the table, cocktails, and party refreshments.
88 points $13 Best Buy
Hananomai  Katana Extra Dry Junmai Ginjo Sake
88 points
$25
Silvery straw color. Aromas of peach-mango, turkish delight, honey, hint of licorice, and dried leaves with a soft, lively, thin body and a tingling, medium-length lemon spritz, jicama, rye cracker, and slate finish. A restrained sake with nice food affinity.
Eiko Fuji  Ban Ryu Honjonzo Sake
87 points
$19.99
Pale straw color. Aromas and flavors of butter cookies, beeswax candle, and wildflowers with a satiny, bright, fruity light-to-medium body and a polished, carefree finish with notes of thyme and hint of lychee finish. A smooth and amicable Honjozo that will hit the spot.
87 points $19.99
Joto  Junmai Sake
87 points
$42.99
Silvery straw color. Aromas of starfruit, pomelo, jasmine, pimento, and golden raisin with a soft, dry thin body and a smooth, crisp birch and grilled brioche finish. A food-friendly sake with aromas of exotic citrus and florals.
87 points $42.99
Yomi  Junmai Ginjo
85 points
$5
Best Buy
Clear color. Aromas of green apple and green mango with a supple, crisp, dryish light body and a sleek, breezy linen, kumquat, flint, and aloe finish. A mild and refreshing sake for delicate pairings.
85 points $5 Best Buy
SakéMoto  Junmai Sake
85 points
$10
White gold color. Aromas of dried citrus, sliced cucumber, and cherry yogurt with a silky, crisp, dryish light body and a smooth, quick peach, pineapple, minerals, and hint of ginger tea finish. A clean and easy-drinking sake.
Momokawa  Medium Dry Diamond Junmai Ginjo Sake
85 points
$14
White gold color. Aromas of lime leaf, green apple, and dough with a supple, crisp, dryish light body and a graceful, breezy apple and basil finish. A easy-drinking Junmai Ginjo for casual pairings.
Kurosawa  Nigori Sake
85 points
$15
Opaque straw color. Aromas of granny smith apple, nectarine, sliced banana, pound cake, marinated mushrooms, and graham cracker with a satiny, bright, off-dry medium body and a delightful, medium-length aloe, cucumber cordial and horchata finish. A fun, creamy sake with a balanced somewhat fruity expression.
Shichi Hon  Junmai Sake
85 points
$32.99
Silvery straw color. Aromas of toasted hawaiian roll, banana cream, mango, and minerals with a soft, vibrant, dry light body and a peppery, interesting, brisk brioche and sea salt finish. A crisp and peppery Junmai that can pair well with rich soft cheeses.
85 points $32.99
Kigen  Sake
84 points
$5
Best Buy
Silver color. Aromas of asian pear, red apple, pineapple, cracked peppercorn, and ginger with a supple, bright, dryish light body and a tingling, brisk banana chips and pastry finish. A zesty Futsu-Shu sake for anytime sipping.
84 points $5 Best Buy
Lucky Cup  Sake
84 points
$5
Best Buy
White gold color. Aromas of peaches in cream, starfruit, coconut, and almond with a supple, bright, dry thin body and a polished, brisk acacia finish. An easy-drinking sake to serve well-chilled.
84 points $5 Best Buy
Momokawa  Dry Crisp Silver Junmai Ginjo Sake
84 points
$14
White gold color. Aromas of hibiscus and passionfruit with a silky, bright, fruity light body and an even, interesting, medium-length meyer lemon, fresh cream, and toasted ciabatta finish. A very refreshing summertime Junmai Ginjo that will be equally great in the yard or at the table.
Maboroshi  Junmai Gingo Sake
84 points
$34.99
Silvery straw color. Aromas of cedar, dried figs, and coconut with a soft, crisp, fruity light-to-medium body and a smooth, medium-length honey-drizzled pears, almond, and guava custard finish. A precise Sake with great versatility; a match for a great variety of meals.
84 points $34.99
Joto  Daiginjo Sake
84 points
$49.99
Emerald straw color. Aromas of honeydew melon, ripe mango, and strawberry with an crisp, light-to-medium body and a smooth, interesting, medium-length meringue and mango mochi finish. A fruity, silky sake that is a pleasure to drink.
84 points $49.99
North American Sake Brewery  Serenity Now! Daiginjo Sake
82 points
$19.99
Yellow straw color. Aromas of honey, wool, cedar, curry spiced candied nuts, and squash with a satiny, bright, bitter medium-to-full body and a smooth, medium-length bitter almond and melon rind finish. Not your typical Daiginjo, a full-flavored, slightly bitter Sake that will be a good one to try in cocktails.
82 points $19.99
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