Heiwa "KID" Sparkling Nama Junmai Daiginjo (360ml)

Heiwa "KID" Sparkling Nama Junmai Daiginjo (360ml)

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My new favorite sparkling sake? Yes, indeed!

Being a big champagne fan, I'm notoriously harsh when it comes to sparkling sake, but I'm truly impressed with KID. Unlike Cuvee Angels Wing, Snowman or Seaside, which almost create their own genre: intensely-tart-nigori, incidentally sparkling... KID Sparkling drinks authentically like a sparkling sake ought to. Mild but fresh acidity, a balanced brut level of dryness, hazy but not nigori-like, pressure similar to cremant, with clean (and not too lactic) Junmai Daiginjo notes of kiwi-strawberry, mango, blossom and mochi.

 This clean, fresh, not too sweet and not too tart balance doesn't give me that familiar nagging sense that Heiwa Shuzo is trying to fit sake into the sparkling "box" to check a category. The balance, mousse, umami and aromatics all make sense and drink light-heartedly, not too unlike a sparkling Oregon pinot, while still being very identifiably sake. KID Sparkling is true to self, true to sparkling, and true to sake. A revelation! Bravo!

Brewery: Heiwa Shuzo
Location: Wakayama Prefecture
Rice: Yamadanishiki (50%)
Yeast: 1801, 901
Acidity: 1.7
Water: Koyasan Nansui
SMV: 0
Alcohol: 15%

Heiwa Shuzo was founded in 1928 and is located just outside Kainan City in Wakayama. The site where the brewery is located was a temple for over 500 years before the brewery was established. It wasn't until 1957 when Sake production commenced full-time. The brewery is located in a valley surrounded by mountains, blessed with high precipitation, resulting in a boundless supply of good quality soft spring water, perfect for brewing Sake.

Their incredibly soft and luscious water, known as Koyasan Nansui, flows down from Koyasan temple, a world heritage site. Heiwa gained massive popularity in Japan and overseas for their “KID” brand of sake. The name “KID” is an abbreviation of combining “kisshu”, the region where Wakayama lies, and “fudo” meaning environment. The name “KID” is also indicative of the sake’s playful, bright and energetic profile. Heiwa won Brewer of the Year at IWC in back to back years (2019 & 2020) a feat never accomplished by any other sake brewery.

Taking IWC (International Wine Competition) Gold in 2018 and 2019 in the Sparkling Sake category, judges describe KID Sparkling as follows: "Fresh aromas of tart, green apple, white flowers and pear. Bold bubbles, fine mousse. Clean and fresh aftertaste." (An honest, if boring, appraisal!)