A wild and evolving sake that shifts from crisp and herbal on release, to umami-rich, cheesy and spicy over time. By Fall-Winter each year, it's getting into wild and moody territory for sure.
Fresh ricotta, sasparilla, pancetta, fresh yogurt, vietnamese coriander, spiced ghee...I absolutely love this sake but, like natural wine, it can be divisive. There are three unique methods of production that make this sake what it is, and to understand it, you have to know what those methods are.
1) First is the bodaimoto fermentation starter method, or more precisely, mizumoto. While the vast majority of sake is acidified with bulk lactic acid (aka sojuko method) and then inoculated with yeast, a bodaimoto/mizumoto starter is a mix of water, uncooked rice and cooked rice, left to turn sour. Ambient lactic acid bacteria (along with a bunch of other random buggies) do their business, generate lactic acid, and eventually create a sour environment safe for sake yeast. This wild starter tends to be wild, funky, yogurt-y and fruity. It's super unique and has ancient, religious origins.
2) Second is the use of omachi rice, an heirloom varietal known for its earthy, herbal, rustic and full-flavored profile, well suited to junmai.
3) Last is coarse filtration, making it an usunigori: a lightly cloudy nigori. When the fermenting mash, essentially a loose porridge, is filtered, it passes through a coarse mesh, letting some particulate get through. The result is an usunigori, which adds texture, expedites aging/maturation, and enhances the flavor of the rice.
This is my #1 choice for anything cilantro. Avocado salad with cucumber, lime and cilantro? Gozenshu. Armenian stuffed flatbread with cilantro chutney? Gozenshu. Khao soi with extra herbs? Yep. Best Baguette sandwich with extra veggies? Oh yeah. If you don't like cilantro? Man, try it with a cheese plate, anything ricotta, pancetta wrapped melons, a pancetta and butter baguette. Sip on it a bit at room temp to chilled. Enjoy yourself!