By: Stephen Allison
K&L Staff Member
If you are a big red wine drinker then, oh man, this is the sake for you. Polished to 80%, which is very high for sake, then fermented with wine yeast and aged two years. The significance of the high polishing ratio is that certain components of the rice, such as proteins, lipids, vitamins and minerals, are left in the fermentation. The proteins in particular can break down into amino acids during fermentation, creating a savory texture. The result of Shirataki’s work is a robustly flavored, heavy bodied brew with high levels of umami, acidity and a wonderfully generous intensity of flavor. Thankfully the sake isn’t sweet, although there is enough sugar to enhance the round texture and to balance the pronounced acidity. Expect big flavors of banana bread, honey and caramelized nuts that can be tasted long into this sake’s finish. I usually describe the nose first when evaluating sake, but this one is so impressively mouth-filling yet easy-drinking I couldn't resist commenting on the flavor and structure first! The nose mirrors what is tasted on the palate, but with welcome touches of vanilla, mild earthiness and spicy cracked pepper. Serve room temperature or warm and pair with pizza, steak, lasagna, veal or hearty stews.