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94 • Chikumanishiki NV Junmai Ginjo Sake $28/720ml.
Clear. Delicate aromas of pineapple yogurt, pear cider, and anise follow through on a very smooth, and silky entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium body with superb depth of well integrated spice and fruit flavors. Finishes with a long pistachio praline, melon and mango skin fade. Very polished and vibrantly flavorful. (tasted on Dec-03-2009)
92 • Miyazaki Honten 2009 "Miyanoyuki" Junmai-Ginjo Sake $10/720ml. Best Buy.
Clear. Complex aromas of overripe apple and pear, dried citrus are meshed with faint floral talc and beeswax and follow through on a silky entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium-to-full body with creamy vanilla custard notes. Finishes with a long, seamless fade of fruit, praline, peppery spice, and earth. A delicious, complex and satisfying sake. (tasted on Dec-03-2009)
92 • Ninki-Ichi NV "Kuro-Ninki" Junmai Ginjo Sake $25/720ml.
Clear with a silvery cast. Delicate aromas of spiced nuts, apple pie crust, and dried citrus follow through on a soft, silky entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium body with excellent depth and balance. Finishes in a long, melon and toasty praline accented fade with lively acidity and drying jicama notes. Very flavorful and expansive. (tasted on Dec-03-2009)
91 • Kizan Sanban 1998 "Koshu" Junmai Ginjo Sake $58/720ml.
Pale golden color. Aromas of buttery roasted pecan, spumoni ice cream, and vanilla cream pastry follow through on a rich entry to a fruity-yet-dry full body with round, custard-like pineapple, mango and Meyer lemon notes. Finishes with a long, juicy fade with praline, drying jicama and melon peel astringency to balance. A very wine-like (akin to an older Napa chardonnay) and flavorful aged sake. Remarkable! (tasted on Dec-03-2009)
90 • Wakatakeya NV "Tani" Junmai Ginjo Sake $45/720ml.
Pale straw green color. Mild aromas of banana, rice flour and paper have a delicate anise edge and follow through on a round, silky entry to a dry-yet-fruity medium body with rich pear, apple, and citrus custard notes. Finishes with a long, vibrant melon, praline, and spice fade with a wisp of parchment paper. An intriguing sake. (tasted on Dec-03-2009)
87 • Funaki NV "Nakakumi" Junmai Ginjo Sake $40/720ml.
Clear with a very faint silvery straw cast. Aromas of matchsticks, dried mango, and buttery roasted nuts follow through on a silky entry to a fruity-yet-dry medium body with apple and pineapple notes. Finishes with a creamy nougat and spicy radish fade. A tasty sake with a somewhat odd nose. (tasted on Dec-03-2009)
85 • Chikuma Nishiki Shuzo 2009 "Chikumanishiki" Junmai-Ginjo Sake $15/720ml.|Find-a-Wine|
Clear. Pleasing aroma of ripe melon, nut, and anise follow through on a satiny entry to a fruity medium-to-full body with creamy vanilla, banana chip, and spicy apple pie notes. Finishes with a refreshing burst of Asian pear, pepper and chalk notes. A charming easy drinking sake. (tasted on Dec-03-2009)