We have a few bottles of this fantastic Sake available, and tomorrow one of the ambassadors for Tatenokawa will be visiting us by his request to taste us on more of their Sake's that we may offer. Until then, we have one of the mainstays of the brewery, Nakadori. The work that goes into this is above and Beyond the Junmai Daiginjo level, with rice polished down to a staggering 18%. There is just such an incredible amount of detail here. So elegant, pure, and ethereal; it's one of the best Sakes we have had the pleasure to try and is highly recommended for the serious Sake lover at this low pricing!
A few savvy Sake drinking clients have requested this Sake, and we were able to get a few cases after trying a bottle this past weekend. With over 180 years of Sake making experience, Tatenokawa was founded in 1832 when the head of the Uesugi clan first visited Shonai located between Akita and Niigata, and was mesmerized by the quality of the water knowing it would be the basis for great Sake. Their production and renown peaked in 1855 when it was given as a gift to the Daimyo of the Shonai Clan, Sakai Tadakatsu, who christened the name Tatenokawa, or Castle Brook.
Tatenokawa, since the very beginning, has been set on producing the most sensational Sake possible, and their steadfast philosophy for the best has afforded them the ability to make legendary Sake.
The '18' is one of their most extravagant and luxurious part of the lineup that they have dubbed "extreme," featuring high polish ratios unseen across Japan. A reference to the percentage of rice left after polishing, only 18% of the Yamada Nishiki rice remains, removing 82% of the total surface and leaving just the tiny core of the rice. This is extreme, considering that the standard is 35%, but the results are nothing short of extraordinary. The 18 is also only made with the nakadori or middle cut pressing, which is considered the highest quality, not unlike the Coeur de Cuvee in Champagne.
18 is an incredibly pure, elegant, and refined Sake with lovely aromatics that bounce from yuzu, lychee, and melon to subtle banana and strawberry notes. There is also a fantastic floral perfume here, with creme fraiche and minerals. The purity is also notable on the palate, showing a very clean, velvety texture that is mouth-coating and balanced yet powerful from the start to the long finish. Mouthwatering, the 18 has a "phantom feel" like the Tokugetsu some of our clients may be familiar with but with an enhancing sweetness akin to a perfect dosage in Champagne. It is a revelatory bottle of Sake that has the power and elegance of Grand Cru Burgundy and would go very well with traditional Japanese cuisine and bolder flavors like curry.