"Not another Yamadanishiki sake please!" We get it, Yamadanishiki tastes wonderful and it gives sake its classic refined qualities. Too many of the same tasting sakes is boring. To combat the dominance of Yamadanishiki + create their own regionality, different prefectures started to develop their own rice strains to give their sake a more unique to their area taste. Get this Prefectural Dominant Rice Bundle to get a taste of what different regions of Japan has to offer!
As the Ginjo Boom continues in the nineties and noughties, a lot of sakes became very similar tasting. Apple & Melon aromas, low acidity and clean elegant finishes. This was because everybody was using the same rice, the same yeast, the same perfected techniques. This becomes painfully obvious at competitions, where you taste flight after flight of great but boring brews.
To differentiate sakes from different regions, prefectures started investing in different techniques, rice types and yeast types. Of course this takes time. It takes around 8-15 years to crossbred, yield test, real world test, before a new rice strain is ready for mass use.
Below are 3 different sakes that are made with the dominant sake rice strain of their prefecture.
Gin No Yume was developed in 1998 as Kochi's first Ginjo Sake Rice. It's a cross between Yamadanishiki and a descendent of Koshihikari. Due to lower height, it adapts well to Kochi's warm wet climate. It also grows well in higher altitudes
Miyamanishiki is one of the most popular sake rices, originating from Nagano, but sees a lot of use in colder and high altitude prefectures. It is both rich and crisp. It is actually a mutant strain of an older strain of Nagano Sake rice.
Hidahomare is a cross between a relative of Gohyaku Mangoku and Fukunohana, and is particularly suitable for high altitudes. It can be used to make all sake grades, and possessses a similar profile to yamadanishiki.
1) Hourai Junmai Ginjo Kaden Tezukuri
This is a Junmai Ginjo made using handcraft, artisanal techniques. Melon, cream cheese and strawberries on the nose. Silky texture, mineral and crisp from the mid palate onwards.
2) Keigetsu Junmai Ginjo Ginnoyume
This is a good representation of Kochi sake - fruity and dry. Fresh aromas of peaches, pear, hint of spice and straw. Flavors are pristine, sharp and clear, with a tight structure, good level of savouriness and a complex, gently astringent finish.
3) Keiryu Junmai Miyamanishiki
Charming aroma, rich taste and slight elevated acidity (1.4), giving this sake refreshing feel. Great balance of sweetness, acidity & umami. Hints of white flour, honey and cotton candy. Good with BBQ, Grilled Chicken & Fish.