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Kinokuniya Bunzaemon Junmai Ginjo

Youji's Sake Notes 1-3

There was a soy sauce company in Wakayama prefecture that started brewing sake just over 60 years ago. The sake master is from Noto Toji Guild. Origin of sake rice varieties are from other regions. It’s not much about “terroir”. So what makes this beverage unique?

Sake Rice Matters?

Koji-mai vs Kake-mai

Yamadanishiki, known as the ideal sake rice for ginjo style’s sake, because the size and center shape, is used for Koji-mai that made into koji.  And Omachi, heirloom sake rice is used for Kake-mai in the latter process. Can it be compared to wine that has two or three grape varieties? Not quite. The toji uses Yamadanishiki to make great koji for ginjo sake and Omachi to follow nicely and add hints of herbal flavor. On palate, it starts with floral bouquet and lychee that can be from Yamadanishiki, followed by exotic herb such as licorice and shiso from Omachi, not so much umami but strong kokumi, and significant weight on throat.

See a great article about sake and saka-mai (rice for sake making) by my sake mentor, John Gauntner.

Sake Rice Reality | Sake World (


Cold sake cup or Riedel Chardonnay glass. A cold sake cup makes the taste more masculine and a wine glass feminine. I loved how the herb aroma came out from the wine glass.


Grilled fish “yaki-zakana” with salt. The flavors and texture of the sake compliment cooked fish in every way. Also, aged cheddar cheese worked well with it.

Would you try it and share your opinion with me? Let’s discuss at “General Discussion” in “Forum” page.



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