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Taka Tokubetsu Junmai Namazake "Noble Arrow"

Taka Tokubetsu Junmai Namazake "Noble Arrow"

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A slightly different brewing approach is used for the Noble Arrow namazake: a different yeast, and of course being unpasteurized with a touch of residual CO2, the acidity is naturally higher. Call me crazy, but I think they might change the brewing technique a bit as well. 

Subtle notes of malted milk, tart yogurt, green apple flesh, crisp pear, mineral water, lily bulb and lime leaf on the nose. The palate does not disappoint, offering a much higher intensity of flavor than the nose. Here we get tart froyo, green apple, just-ripe banana, kiwi, white strawberry, lemon cucumber, and  chalky-salty characteristics. It is very smooth, with mouthwatering high acidity. The umami is lower (maybe the lowest of 2022 Spring nama?) and it's quite dry-- if the intent is to channel a fresh, young Chablis, they have definitely succeeded.

Like the pasteurized version, This sake has total chablis and muscadet vibes and would be extremely versatile with food in the very same ways. Tinned seafood, fresh seafood, gougeres, goat cheese, veal, nicoise salad, clams and mussels, lightly cooked spring veg doused in vinaigrette...

Stats:

  • Brewery: Nagayama Honke
  • Brand: Taka
  • Grade: Tokubetsu Junmai Namazake
  • Polish: 60%
  • Prefecture: Yamaguchi, but specifically, a site on limestone soils and with a water source running over limestone 
  • Yeast: #7 (note: the pasteurized version uses #9)
  • Rice: Hattannishiki & Yamadanishiki
  • Established: 1888

4th generation President/Toji Takahiro Nagayama is passionate about his estate grower-producer style sake, allowing him to brew sake that represents the regional terroir. "Taka" is the first character of Takahiro-san's name and means "noble." His unwavering discipline and commitment to technical precision results in elegant but restrained sake. In addition Takahiro's technical and philosophical background is highly inspired: for 4 years he worked in the cellart of highly respected micro-negociant Philippe Pacalet, who produces wine from select vineyards in Cotes de Nuits and Cotes de Beaune. Takahiro pursued this role because of a deep inspiration in the wines of Burgundy, particularly Chablis. So it's no wonder at all really, that he looks to the limestone hillsides of Yamaguchi for inspiration in crafting Noble Arrow: Chablis' brother from another mother.