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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.
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
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
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