Yamada Shoten Everlasting Roots Tokubetsu Junmai

Yamada Shoten Everlasting Roots Tokubetsu Junmai

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Soft spiced notes, creamy and comforting texture, a rich toasty finish, while remaining light and dry. For lovers of Hakuto Tokubetsu Junmai "Deep Faith," Kanbara Junmai Ginjo "Bride of the Fox," and Masumi Junmai Ginjo "Sleeping Beauty" Hiyaoroshi, who are looking for a sake that over-delivers on quality and enjoyment for the price. This lightly matured, mountain style Tokubetsu Junmai from micro-brewery Yamada Shoten is always a pleasure, and not just because you get an extra carafe (180ml) from each bottle!

I'm often asked, what's my favorite place in Japan? And it's really difficult to answer, because I've loved nearly everywhere I've been. But something about Gifu, taking the train through the mountains to Hida Takayama and the beauty of that mountain village, its abundance of sake breweries, really affected me. So to this day, I have a soft spot for Gifu sake and Hida-Homare rice.

Mukashi no Manma, "Everlasting Roots," is made with local Gifu rice, Hida-Homare, developed for the Hida mountain range and Gifu prefecture, and is matured a short while before release. Hida Homare is a bit of a pain to grow but produces fuller bodied sake and has helped the Gifu region develop a stronger regional identity.

Japanese name: 山田商店
Location: Gifu
Rice: Hida Homare (local)
Polish: 55%
Yeast: Alps Yeast
SMV: +4
Acidity: 1.7
ABV: 15%
Brewery website: https://www.kura-yamada.com/

"When we decided to release 900ml it was because we decided we need a mini bottle—1.8L is not always the right choice, it’s cumbersome and doesn’t travel well, doesn’t it in refrigerators anymore. So this is the smallest size we make and it’s one that encourages generosity of pours. It’s a great size for 3, sometimes even 4 people, lets two people have a good time and maybe even an extra glass or two the next day. It represents a spirit of generosity," kuramoto in training, Mr. Yamada said in a recent visit.

When Mr. Yamada (Jr) takes over the brewery from his parents one day, he wants to engage more with sake through the lens of gastronomy. There’s a concept of casual pairing— “this sake goes with food,” “does not fight with food”— but the concept of a perfect pairing is really new and unexplored. So in the future he wants to really develop and identify specific strong pairings for his sake, giving it a purposeful place at the table.

Sansai (wild mountain vegetables) and niku (beef) are a part of the core culinary lexicon in Gifu, as well as miso. Mr. Yamada's favorite food with Everlasting roots is anything miso rich, with the sake being room temperature. The area is known for akamiso and hatcho miso, deeply flavored, aged misos, so these form a great pairing with the umami-rich Everlasting Roots. Generally speaking, Gifu sake has more acidity and umami and more restraint aromatically. This particular sake among the whole of the Yamada Shoten portfolio has the most Gifu character.