Noguchi Naohiko-Toji is famed for many things, one of which is championing the revival of the Yamahai brewing technique after the end of the Second World War. NNSI Yamahai Aiyama 2018 Vintage is part of a series of sakes commemorating these efforts, with this particular sake looking to highlight the subtle yet deep umami the Yamahai Technique can elicit using a blend of Aiyama and Yamada Nishiki rice.
Both Aiyama and Yamada Nishiki are famous sake-brewing rice strains from Hyogo Prefecture. Yamada Nishiki is famed for being the “King of Sake Rice” producing soft, round and weighty sake with depth, balance and fullness. Aiyama, developed a couple of decades after Yamada Nishiki, is also well regarded for producing sake with great depth, and a hint of sweetness.
On the nose we get a restrained aroma of creamy peach, white pepper, custard, soil (there’s the umami) and red apple. The delivery is silky and grows into a more weighty and dense mid-palate with subtle depth of flavour. Peaches, strawberry, steamed rice & dark sugar are the predominant flavours with a creaminess coming from the lactic-acid producing Yamahai Technique; silky with a long & elegant finish.
Drinking this sake makes me think of pairing with buttery & creamy dishes or shellfish.
Ingredients: water, rice, koji, yeast, brewer’s alcohol