Junmai Ginjo – “Zen” Misty Bay
Zen is the brewery’s signature sake. It was one of the first premium sakes to be introduced to the West, and it remains a benchmark example of top- quality Junmai Ginjo. Milled to 50% seimaibuai, Zen could legally be classified as a Junmai Daiginjo, but the brewery chose to classify it as a Junmai Ginjo, reserving the higher grade for other bottlings. This sake is exceptionally balanced and complex, with rich, buttery, minty aromas, savory, slightly salty flavors, a round, creamy texture, and a clean, long, singularly harmonious finish. It is as intricate and sophisticated as any first-growth wine. For many, this bottling is an “epiphany” sake.
SMV : +1
Alcohol content: 15%-16%
About the Producer
Urakasumi, located in Shigoma, Miyagi prefecture, was founded by the Saura family in 1724 as the official supplier of sacred sake for the Shiogama Shinto shrine. Koichi Saura is the brewery’s 13th generation owner. The name “Urakasumi” means "Misty Bay" (Ura is bay and Kasumi is mist), which is inspired by a 13th century poem of the same name that praises the beauty of Shiogama Bay. Urakasumi is widely regarded as one of the finest breweries in the prefecture.
The water used for brewing sake is drawn from wells near Matsushima Bay. It is relatively hard water and contains the proper amount of nutrients for healthy yeast development. Using techniques accumulated over many years, highly polished rice is fermented slowly at low temperatures using Urakasumi's in-house yeast. Urakasumi produces fragrant, light sake with a well-rounded flavor. It has been described as maboroshi, a dreamy sake, and has won the gold prize 33 times in 47 years.