Tamagawa Junmai Ginjo Namazake "Ice Breaker"
Tamagawa Junmai Ginjo Namazake "Ice Breaker"
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Tamagawa Junmai Ginjo Namazake "Ice Breaker"

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An unusually bold, earthy, complex namazake which is aged at room temperature for a year and a half before its eventual release in Summer. Ice breaker is so named for its ability to be served over ice: the rich, concentrated flavors withstand the addition of ice, but like all of toji Philip Harper's sake, it is also delicious served warm. 

On the nose, Ice Breaker is earthy, with raw macadamia nuts and sunflower seeds leading the way-- fresh coriander and grassy notes lending freshness.
On the palate, it is classic Tamagawa style: soft, rich, deep, earthy, but with some fruit for levity: fresh apricot, red apple, bosc pear. An oily, tahini and sunflower seed butter aftertaste, as well as the wildness of fresh grasses, grass seeds, turned earth, and fallen leaves brings you back to earth.


Handling:

  • Storage temp: fridge or wine cellar temps (n light), up to 6 months, more if you don’t mind it changing/evolving
  • Service temp: on ice to gently warmed
  • Serving vessel: tumbler with ice, sakazuki to enhance umami and texture, wine glass to enhance aroma.

Pairing:

Very versatile due to the higher umami content and the gentle aging, which makes it both savory and fruity. It pairs beautifully with fully savory dishes (mushroom risotto, roasted chicken) as well as sweet-savory, which highlights its sweetness. For example, it was fantastic on a whole grain toast with ricotta and persimmon. If you’ve never had Gjusta’s persimmon burrata olive oil toasts…that might be one to seek out and have with it! Also think Fall salads (dried cranberries, nuts, whole grains, bitter veg) and bitter greens (roasted kale, broccolini, radicchio) dressed with balsamic or a soft vinaigrette, which the sake will serve to temper– removing bitterness and letting the umami and sweetness of the vegetable shine through.

Brewery:

Kinoshita Sake Brewery, established in 1842, produces sakes that are richly flavored and crisp-drinking. Since 2008 they have been made under the direction of Philip Harper, the only non-Japanese toji in Japan.