Mukai Shuzo Junmai Ine Mankai
Mukai Shuzo Junmai Ine Mankai

Mukai Shuzo Junmai Ine Mankai

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This beautiful sake is a pale brick red, rushing out of the glass with a wide range of savory aromatics including German braised cabbage, cooked sprouted wheat berries, carrot cake, cream of wheat, fresh ricotta, buttermilk, candied peanuts, torn redwood bark, olives, and gjetost cheese.

The palate is intense, with a medium sweetness--viscous, sumptuous, soft, expanding, and plush. A sweeter profile of flavors on the palate, such as golden raisins, sticky garnet yams, malted wheat, honey, black garlic, banana runts, kiwi-strawberry, salted plum aka li hing mui, raspberry jam, black tea, and dried blossoms. 

Sometimes I share these long notes but I really wonder if I should just say, "It's extremely complex and multi-faceted: decide for yourself."

Prefecture: Kyoto
Rice:  Kyo no Kagayaki & Murasaki red rice
Polishing: 70%/ 90%
Yeast #701
Method: Sokujo

When making this junmai sake, Mukai Shuzo’s current head brewmaster, Kuniko Mukai, uses a red rice varietal that grows locally in Ine, the town where she grew up. The sake is called “Ine Mankai”, or “Ine in Full Bloom”. The brewery is located in a fishing village in Kyoto, we hear that locals are able to dock their boat at the brewery to pick up their sake.

Plays very well with sweet pickled garlic and bitter vegetables, blue cheese and other stinky cheeses, steamed buns with hoisin, cilantro, and pork or trumpet mushrooms, peking duck (the whole set), Taiwanese hot pot...really anything intense, spiced, and sweet-savory, it can stand up to and even improve.