A few weeks ago we were at the best Sake and Food convention we have ever been too where we ended up tasting over 50 different sakes. One of the stand outs for price-quality was the Tengumai Junmai Daiginjo. Brewed by Syata Brewery located in central Japans Ishikawa prefecture that faces the Sea of Japan. Established in 1823, Syata Brewery has been passing down their techniques to talented and skilled Brew Masters encouraging tradition but also the creative spirit, accepting of new ideas from Brew Masters to create something different or better. The breweries main technique is a unique one called Yamahai, which is similar to the traditional Kimoto Style. In Kimoto style the rice is crushed to dissolve it into water influencing the natural lactic acid in the air to start fermentation, much like a wild yeast fermentation in wine. The Yamahai technique skips this step and uses and enzyme melted from a malt that dissolves the rice into a liquid state and in this case 50% polished rice is used. The sake is then carefully aged in barrel before its bottled and released. This provides the complexity and similar flavor profile of Kimoto style but is less powerful, more light on its feet, and elegant. Perfect for those who like the refreshing, complex side of sake. The acidity is spot on too and brightens up the dried fruits and herbal nuances on the palate. This has a great balance to it and a very long finish that ends with the perfect amount of sweetness much like a Champagne with the right dosage. This sake developed a cult following with its induction into a Japanese Comic about sake where it was stated that it is the best pairing with oysters, but could pair equally as well with shellfish, lightly grilled meats, and grilled vegetables. A great sake for those just starting to dabble and don’t want to spend the money of some of the higher end bottles or the experienced sake drinker that wants to be impressed at this price point.