Kawatsuru Junmai "Crane of Paradise"

Kawatsuru Junmai "Crane of Paradise"

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Notes of grapefruit, mineral, a touch of something tropical and an agave-like sweet, silky smokiness. 

Kawatsuru is named for the cranes that live in the local river and is considered to be an umakuchi style sake: on the dry and crisp side, but with strong umami on the mid palate. Considered to be a difficult style to make. They use Yeast #9 for this, one of the earliest ginjo yeasts, for its relatively understated but still pretty aromatics and slightly higher acid production.

Kawatsuru grows their own Yamadanishiki in Kagawa which is used for this sake. Pretty unusual to go to this length for a vertically integrated, seed to bottle sake.

Interestingly, as the prefecture with anywhere between the least and 3rd to least rainfall annually, they undergo periodic drought. When that happens, local sake brewers like Kawatsuru are the shared community resource as they have the best wells and water access. So Kawatsuru has a community responsibility to share water in periods of drought, something they dont take lightly.

Location: Kagawa
Brewery: Kawatsuru
Japanese name: 川鶴
Rice: Yamadanishiki (local)
Polishing: 65%
Yeast: #901
SMV: +3
ABV: 15.5%
Brewery website: https://kawatsuru.com/

Monica Samuels of Kome Collective feels this is a Mezcal and Sauvignon Blanc lovers’ sake, because it has a bit of the sweet agave smokiness and slippery texture of mezcal, as well as the delicately tropical and lime-like note of Sauvignon Blanc. You can think in these terms for pairing, or for a tried and true slam dunk, Sweet Italian sausage is an excellent pairing thanks to the sweet fennel, umami tomato and fatty meat being cut cleanly by the refreshing sake.