This sake has the softness of water touched by moonlight, the silver-white reflection bobbing and sliding on the surface, the ripples spreading it in oblongs across the waves. A junmaiginjo sake, it comes from Hiroshima prefecture, famous for the softness of its water and the delicacy of flavor it allows. Miho Imada, daughter of the house and one of the few female tojis in Japan, brews in small batches. (Fukucho is one of the smallest breweries in Japan.) Like a vintner using a remarkable terroir to make fine wine, she concentrates on specialty sakes, fine-tuning the rice and koji, the mold which ferments the mash. She uses an original in-house koji rather than a commercially-made one and also avoids adding distilled alcohol (this is the junmai part of the sake’s name) in order to highlight the nuances of flavor and texture. Delicate and complex, it shows a fruity nose melon and lime with hints of white pepper and fennel. Very, very soft in the mouth, it wafts across your palate in a cloud of cantaloupe and anise, lime and white pepper, the rich flavors riding a full yet light mouthfeel.
Pairing: A versatile sake made for food, it will pair with shrimp and fennel risotto, steamed lemongrass crab legs, or a lavender crème caramel tart.
VARIETY: YAMADA NISHIKI
REGION: Hiroshima, JAPAN