Shizuoka Sake Tasting 24/1~5: Yamanaka-Aoitenka Brewery

Aoitenka Toubinkoi Muroka Junami Ginjo

Yamanaka Brewery i not easy to access as it is far away from Kakegawa Station near the sea and one can reach only by bus, car and bicycle (not from Shizuoka City for the latter!)!
It is a fairly small establishement, although very well know, the more for it that its neighbour is the famous soy sauce brewery, Sakae!

This particular bottle was extravagant for many reasons.
The decoration was very original in the sense that the label on the bottle is actually made of cloth!
Coming into a great box with plenty of explanations, both the bottle and box are worth a collector’s attention.

The contents were also absolutely extravagant:
The real title is Yamanaka Shuzo/Yamanak Brewery, Aointenka (sake name), Tobinkoi (sake extracted drop by drop by being left hanging into sacke inside the tank and into a large glass jar), Muroka (unfiltered), Junami Ginjo (high premium with no alcohol added), Genshu (no pure water added), the whole meaning a completely untouched sake brew!

Now for the details:
Rice: Yamada Nishiki from Hyogo Prefecture
Rice milled down to 48% (high dai ginjo level!)
Yeast: 1401
Dryness: +2
Acidity: 1.7
Alcohol: 16~17 gegrees
Bottled in July 2010

Clarity: very clear
Colour: transparent
Aroma: Slghtly dry and very fruity. Almonds, coconuts with notes of pineapple. Extremely pleasant
Body: fluid
Taste: Very complex and fruity. Extremely pleasant and sophisticated.
Dry and fruity. Junmai petillant spreading over theback of the palate. Lingers on only a little.
Dry almonds, pineapple with hints of banana and vanilla.
Finishes on a very dry almond note, but turns a little sweetish with food. Later on reveals faint notes of dark chocolate and cofee beans.

Overall: Simply extravagant, although its pricetag is ridiculously cheap (that is for that quality!). The rice millage would be of another plane elsewhere!
Sophisticated, lmost “feminine2 in spite of high alcohol content.
Best appreciated lightly chilled or at room temperature.
Personally the best aperitif one can come across!
————————————-
TOKUBETSU JUNMAI

Yamanaka Brewery is lost somewhere south of Kakegawa City Station and it is not easy to find their bottles! This is the only fourth one!

Yamanaka Brewery: Aoitenka Tokubetsu Junmai

Rice: Gohyakumangoku 100%
Rice milled down to 55%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Bottled in April 2008

Clarity: Very clear
Colour: Almost transparent
Aroma: Light. Dry. Fruity: coffee beans, Melon
Body: Velvety
Taste: Shortish tail. Strong junmai tingle warming the back of the mouth.
Dry. Complex. Fruity. Almonds, melon.
Keeps dry all the way through by itself or with food.
Almonds make strong comeback with food, especially meat.

Overall: Another sake designed both for food and individual drinking.
Strong characteristics.
Dry. Complex. Very pleasant and easy to drink.
“Suits itself to food”.
—————————
Yokosuka

aoitenka-yokosuka.jpg

I’ve started a little love affair with this particular brewery (mind you, I’m turning in the most unashamed polygamist when it comes to sake brewed in Shizuoka!), but, as I said before, as Yamanaka Brewery (Aoitenka) is lost near the sea off Kakegawa City, it is not easy to obtain their brews. But they are certainly worth the search!

Yamanaka Brewery/Yokosuka/Junmai Ginjo
Rice: Yamada Nishiki (Hyogo Prefecture)
Rice milled down to 55%
Alcohol: 15~16 degrees
Dryness: +5
Acidity: 1.4
Bottled in July 2007

Clarity: very clear

Colour: almost transparent

Aroma: Fruits and flowers/banana

Taste: Very fruity at first: banana, almonds, gardenias
Welcome acidity revealed by second sip. Junmai tingle.
More almonds and bitter chocolate revealed with food. Drinks well with food which tends to bring some more sweetness about in spite of thedryness parameter.

Overall: Typical Shizuoka-type sake. Lots of fruits. Pleasant at all seasons on its own or with food, slightly chilled, room temperature or slightly warm, Equally popular with ladies and gents.

——————–
Sakedo Yamanaka

aoitenka-yamanaka.jpg

Yamanaka Brewery is more famous for its other brand name, Aoitenka, but I just could not pass this Sakedo Yamanaka/”Sake Route Inside the Mountains” when I discovered it in Fukuroi City.
People say that Shizuoka sake are hard to find outside our Prefecture, but I can tell they are not always to find here, either! So when I found any, I don’t bother, I just take them all (4 on that trip alone!)

Yamanaka Brewery: Sakedo Yamanaka Junmai

Rice: Shizuoka Aichi no Kaori
Rice milled down to 65%
Dryness: +2
Acidity: 1.4
Yeast: No 1001
Bottled in December 2007

Clarity: very clear

Colour: Almost transparent

Aroma: Dry, fleeting, discreet/Green apples/Pineapple

Body: velvety

Taste: Very dry. Welcome acidity. Coffee Beans/Almonds/Bitter Chocolate.
Turns sweet with food.

Overall: Great sake with food.
Turns multi-faceted with food. Calls for the next sip
———————–
Aoitenka Junmai Ginjo

aoitenka.jpg

This is my first bottle from Aoitenka Brewery in Kakegawa City. Not easy to find, although a celebrity.

Aoitenka Junmai Ginjo

Rice: Yamada Nishiki
Rice milled down to 48% (absolutely extravagant)
Alcohol: 16~17 degrees (strong)
Bottled in march 2007

Clarity: very clear

Colour: almost transparent

Aroma: solid and complex. Fruity/bananas

Body: velvety

Taste: a light junmai tingle
Very fruity: bananas. Turns complex after second sip with some welcome acidity.
Coffee beans, vanilla, bitter chocolate.
Stays elegant after very sip. Almonds revealed by food.

Overall: A discovery!
Milled down to 48% for junmai ginjo is pure extravagance.
Drinks like a fine old white wine.
If drunk cold (which I would not agree with realy), would taste like an expensive ice-cream.

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