Ginga Shizuku "Divine Droplets" Junmai Daiginjo Sake (720ml)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Very pale yellow. Complex nose offers saline, herbal and spicy notes, with a minty coolness. Wonderfully subtle, complex and precise, with a distinctly ethereal quality, high-pitched minerality and superb lift. Finishes very dry and persistent, with lovely lift. This is made inside an igloo in Hokkaido, in Japan's extreme north, where below-freezing temperature prevents unwanted bacteria from surviving, thus ensuring a very pure sake. The clear sake is separated from the fermenting rice lees by putting it into canvas bags and allowing the sake to drip out overnight (as opposed to pressing it).
This producer goes to phenomenal lengths to produce the cleanest sake possible. Some might even say they go over the top. When the temperature falls below 14 Fahrenheit, they build an igloo. Inside this structure the air is a constant 28 F, with 90% humidity and no wind, as well as an environment free of harmful bacteria. Then because they do not like the bitter compounds that result when the sake is pressed from the lees, they put it into canvas bags that are hung to slowly drip the "free run" sake. Very fragrant, very lovely, very elegant, very clean, very subtle. All the trouble shows in the glass. Expensive but well worth it.