Japanese Sake List
Information on hundreds of Sakes, including photos of bottles, spec sheets, and brewery information
Class: Junmai Daiginjo
Rice-Polishing Ratio: 35%
Brewery Location: Tochigi prefecture
Food Pairings: Scallop with grapefruit salad, mozzarella and tomato salad, insalata di mare (Italian Seafood Salad), seafood aspic, sea urchin mousse, poached white asparagus
Tasting Notes:Lean elegant yet bursting with flavor, this Junmai Daiginjo is milled to 35% which is the optimal milling rate for Yamada Nishiki according to the Toji. Issei is the entry-level sake for Senkin’s premium series, which are all pressed using the Fukurozuri pressing method which employs gravity to separate pure, clean sake from the mash. This Sake is wonderfully juicy (think green apples and melon) and a true delight to sip on with a wide variety of non-Japanese dishes using cheese and/or dairy products. The brewery encourages drinkers to consume their sake out of Bordeaux wine glasses to truly discover the sensory potential of their brews.
Profile: This brewery that has been gaining international attention in recent years is nestled in the small residential backroads of Sakura city in Tochigi Prefecture. Senkin Brewery is now run by 11th generation brothers Kazuki Usui (Brewer) and Masato Usui (Toji), who work together as brewer and toji (respectively. Senkin jizake are brighter and juicier than other sake; their focus is principally on two major elements of acidity (2.0 or above) and SMV/residual sugar levels (-3.0 or near), but by direct comparison, most sake has an acidity of 1.1-1.5 and SMV averages around 1.5. In fact, when their first batch was finished, their father asked if the acidity meter was broken! As their brewing motto is “Yokei na koto shinai” (do nothing unnecessary), all of their sake are brewed in small batches, are Muroka (unfiltered), Genshu (undiluted), and Nama (unpasteurized), as well as bottle-aged only in near-freezing temperatures. Applying the same concept as a Domaine or Estate, Senkin uses the same water for brewing as that which grows their local rice, and they will only use contract-farmed rice grown within 5 minutes of the brewery; in effect they are a grower/producer and use only three varieties: Kame No O, Omachi and Yamada Nishiki. They also implement both modern and traditional methods in brewing, going so far as to implement Edo-era technology and techniques.