The ultra well regarded Nagayam Honke Brewery in Yamaguchi prefecture has become one of the hottest brands in Japan. Toji Takashiro Nagayama took over as 4th generation President of the venerated and very traditional brewery in 2001, but Takashiro san isn't satisfied to rest on his laurels. Before taking over as Master Brewer, Takashiro san spent years making and falling in love with the wines of Burgundy. He worked with Philippe Pacalet and has a particular proclivity for Chablis. It is from this esthetic, an ideal of terroir, from which he creates his extremely complex and unique sakes. These are truly Sake for wine drinkers. The sake is all estate grown meaning Nagayam uses only rice they've cultivated themselves. For the Tokubetsu they blend Yamada Nishiki and Hattan Nishiki to create one of the most opulent and vinous sake we've ever tasted. Incredible tension and depth of character with a big bold nose of sweet citrus, musk melon and hints of fresh herbs. The palate is creamy and textured with a minerality that has more in common with the great wines of Sancerre or Chablis than any other sake. The lifted acidity keeps the whole thing precise. I don't usually buy into the hype, but Takashiro Nagayama's sakes are worth every bit of it. Pair as you would an old world minerally white wine.
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