Yuki No Bosha Yamahai Junmai is the ultimate expression of Mr. Takahashi's mastery and the practice of "hands-off" natural fermentation. Instead of raising temperature of the moto, he keeps his moto temperature considerably low. "By raising the temperature", he says, " the sake becomes 'heavy' and the moto invites the foreign microbes (including wild yeast) which contribute to the gaminess and the funky flavor profile". By keeping the temperature to minimum, and letting the saccharification to occur more gradually and naturally, he makes yamahai sake that's "un-yamahai-like" yet in some way, is more "true" to how it should taste. "True Yamahai can be tasty and rich yet clean and mellow," said Mr. Saito, the president of Saiya Brewery, in a phone interview. He likes to enjoy this sake slightly warmed when he wants to get into a calm, mellow mood.
Bottled without an addition of water, and also without filtration with charcoal/micro-paper, Yuki No Bosha sake is highly aromatic, laden with pleasant acidity, clean alcohol and rich umami on palate. The sake invites you with a whiff of roasted chestnut, fresh musk melon and brown butter, then coast your palate with rich umami. With amino acid kept at 0.8, the sake is impeccably balanced while being exceptionally flavorful and luscious. I had this sake with heirloom tomato with shio-koji (salt koji), and it keeps good pace with the super-umami of the shio-koji and ripe tomato combination. One of my favorite ways to enjoy this beautiful sake is with a ripe and funky goat cheese, like Besace du Berger - a small dome shaped aged goat, a rare import from France. "Rich on rich", "umami on umami", results in greater than a sum of two.
Yuki No Bosha Yamahai Junmai can be an unassuming companion to any meal and occasions, unlike "in-your-face" assertive yamahai's more commonly available. The ripe fruity notes of the sake lingers long after the last flavor of the cheese dissipates from the palate