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Ohyama Shiboritate Tokubetsu Junmai Nama

Ohyama Shiboritate Tokubetsu Junmai Nama

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On the palate an initial gentle sweetness washes over-- like donut peach, lychee, anise candies, and orange blossom honey-- but it is quickly balanced by interesting herbal and bitter notes:  mastic, lemon pith, fresh fennel fronds and eucalyptus. What you get here is a pretty classic Spring namazake juxtaposition of fresh fruit and complex, bitter herbs. But this is the first time I've tasted such a resounding mastic-eucalyptus note, and I'm inspired to think of Greek food as a first stop for pairing. 

Shiboritate means "fresh pressed" and usually indicates one of the first releases of the season. As an unpasteurized sake it is big, bright, and complex, with a little more acidity (and to balance it, a touch more sweetness) than you might be used to and overall, a lot more personality. 


  • Brewery: Kato Kahachiro Shuzo
  • Brand: Ohyama 
  • Grade: Tokubetsu Junmai Namazake
  • Polish: 60%
  • Prefecture: Yamagata 
  • Yeast: Yamagata KA, Yamagata 
  • Rice: Dewanosato
  • Established: 1872

The powerful herbal/fresh/minty/pine resin finish and peach/lychee core gives you a lot of interesting pairing options. Think bigger, brighter flavors (I know, this is becoming a theme with Spring nama)...
  • - Fresh white fish or fresh Ota Tofu steamed and brought to life with a zippy sauce, like a pesto made with fresh, spicy green garlic roasted and pureed, chimichurri with lots of oregano, olive tapenade with orange zest, or a cured lemon relish with plenty of mint, parsley, and olive oil
  • -  Fresh spring veggie & umami rich dip-- maybe a delicious broiled brandade, tonnato, smoked salmon and dill, or misozuke and herbs
  • - A creamy sauce made with mentaiko + dried chili on spaghetti
  • - Roasted peaches served with arugula, French feta and honey-sherry vinaigrette
  • - Lamb!
  • - The full spread of horiatiki salad, olives, cheese and figs drizzled in thyme honey,  souvlaki, fried little fish, pepperoncinis... or heck, just get takeout from Bluto's and save yourself the effort maybe..