Written by Yuta Shirahata 白幡雄大
My hometown, 山形 (Yamagata), is famous for Sake and it has many famous Sake manufacturers such as 出羽桜 (Dewazakura). Yamagata has a beautiful nature, and manufacturers can get high quality ingredients for Sake such as water and rice.
Raising up in a heaven of sake, I would like to introduce one of my favourite Sake brand, 楯の川 (Tatenokawa). This manufacturer is located in the northern part of Yamagata, which is the centre for producing rice in Japan. They has produced Sake since 1832.
Sake has several grades based on many factors, such as 純米大吟醸 (Junmai Daiginjo), 純米吟醸 (Junmai Ginjo), 本醸造酒 (Honjozo), etc. Basically Junmai Daiginjo is the best grade, and Tatenokawa in fact produce only this type of sake. It is imaginable how confident and reliable Tatenokawa is in producing the highest grade of sake.
Among their products, I would like to introduce two Sake particularly. The first one is 楯野川CRAFT 燦 -SAN-. The umami and character of the specially cultivated rice, Dewa Sansan, can be felt clearly in this unpasteurized sake. It is recommended as a food sake since it has a good balance of flavor and aroma. You can also enjoy the pleasing aroma of a daiginjo if you drink it from a wine glass. If you prefer sweet Sake, this sake would be suited to you.
The second one is 楯野川CRAFT 雪 -YUKI-. This is also from the same 楯野川CRAFT series as the previous one. This sake is characterized by a slightly subdued but ripe muscat-like aroma and a light, pleasant sweetness. It combines the robust flavor of the sake with the quality of a Junmai Daiginjo. The smooth taste, the satisfying after-drink feeling, and the aroma that lingers in the nose would create upmost satisfaction.
These two Sakes are carefully brewed by hand in very limited quantities. I highly recommend these two as a big Sake lover.
楯野川CRAFT 燦 -SAN-:
楯野川CRAFT 雪 -YUKI-: