Heiwa Shuzo "KID" Junmai Ginjo Nama "Natsu no Shippou"

Heiwa Shuzo "KID" Junmai Ginjo Nama "Natsu no Shippou"

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A brisk and chilling release from KID! An intriguing, dry profile, with notes of melon, mint, and spring water... totally channeling the classic Italian combo of melon-mint-proscuitto. After your palate adjusts to the dry start, there's an an umami rush in the mid palate and an astringent finish. It's almost like the surf goes out with the initial dry shallowness, and a wave of umami comes back in. Notes of altoids, witch hazel, cucumber, gooseberry and lemongrass. Serve ice cold to light chill, but I'll bet it wouldn't mind a gentle warming, either.


About KID seasonals: 
As in Spring, the fascinating thing about KID seasonal sake is that the ingredients never change, but the flavors absolutely do. Always made with the same rice (Gohyakumangoku), water (Koyasan Nansui), ABV (15%), polishing ratio (50-55%), and yeast (blend of 901, 10, 14 and 1801), the variation in style is a result of maturity and minor tweaks in brewing temperature, fermentation curves, and handling. Natsu no Shippou, Summer’s Strong Wind, is dry, a bit astringent, herbaceous, very serious, and drinks very well at ice-cold temps. The name “KID” is a reference to approaching sake with a sense of novelty and open-mindedness, but also a portmanteau of “Kisshu” and “fudo”: Kisshu being the old name for Wakayama, and fudo meaning environment. KID is brewed to be modern in style, but the lack of variables in the seasonal releases (and all of their sake, in fact) lets the subtle influence of fudo-- terroir?-- express itself.

Like the rest of their seasonal line, KID is doing a few unique things with this sake. First they are using Gohyakumangoku rice, which is a harder, denser variety that doesn’t dissolve as completely in the brew. As a result, the sake is more “angular” in the mouth-- not as plush. They are also using 4 different types of yeast and blending to achieve balance. 1801 lends notes of fennel and green apple, but it lacks umami. 901 lends richness and umami, but has mellower aromas of banana and melon. Together they form a whole and show off KID's blending skills.

 

Grade: Junmai Ginjo
Rice: Gohyakumangoku
Polishing: 50%/55%
Yeast: 1801, 901, 14, 10
Starter: sokujo
Acidity: 1.8
Water: Koyasan Nansui (soft)
SMV: +4
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.

First thought when I tried Natsu, is that this would be fantastic with a classic melon, proscuitto and mint canape or salad. Play off the dry, herbaceous melon flavors and the deep umami. Carpaccio (drizzled in evoo), herb oil marinated feta, cool chilled tofu with cherry tomato salad and shiso...get creative, but keep it fresh!