The Sake Project: Dassai Junmai Daiginjo 48 (Nama)

April 16th, 2012By Category: Culture

Bottle 2 – Dassai Junmai Daiginjo 48 (Nama)
This Dassai Junmai Daiginjo Shibori Tate (Nama) is an instant favorite. It has everything I love in a bottle of Nihon-shu, all of the lively, fruity taste that first sucked me into sake drinking. This is even more of everything than one would expect because of its young legs as a shibori tate, and that it is unpasteurized (nama) – a lively combination indeed. It is a cliche to rally around the dai ginjo for its own sake, but I save myself from the trap by trying everything at least once, and targeting a price range of around Y1500 for 720ml. That is what I paid for this at Mitsugiya, and since this is still my first year back in Japan, can easily claim it to be worth twice that much. At least I have paid twice as much for other Nihon-shu that was not as satisfying as this. Dassai 48, has a semai buai of 50 and is from Yamaguchi Prefecture.

Dassai Junmai Daiginjo 48 (Nama)

I drank this in my normal unpasteurized dai ginjo range of right from the fridge, to room temperature and was not surprised to find this brew more comfortable on the chilled side (right from the fridge). It still holds it own up to room temperature, but as with all Nihon-shu of this grade, would not desire to put it in a pewter warming pot. Let this one be cold.

Once in the guinomi, this fragrant brew revealed the taste of melons and berries. A wonderful fruitiness, great junmai rice taste and a nice clean finish, which lingers longer on the tongue closer to room temperature. I was lucky enough to have this with sushi. We actually headed out to our favorite local sushi place and our nipper fell asleep in the back seat. Rather than wake him we decided to order out; my reward, the marriage of Dassai Junmai Daiginjo 48 with all of my sushi favorites. The Dassai 48 complemented everything on the plate and overpowered nothing. Its fruitiness and nama junmai body held together well throughout.

Instant favorite. Four Stars ****

Reviewer’s addendum: Finished off this bottle on 24 Jan with a long one. Let it breathe and go to room temperature. It was solid and fantastic throughout. Drank it with a dinner of grilled beef and chicken on warmed pita bread with melted cheeses, sautéed spinach, roasted peppers and shallots. Held its own with some robust flavors from the food. After having covered the range of tastes from fresh sushi to grilled meats and cheeses, I conclude that this brew will go well with any meal.

Author of this article

Daren Epstein

Travel writer, photographer, and occasional drinker of sake. Based in Tokyo, Japan.

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