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Water is the fountain of life, and good water is the secret behind making superb sakes.
The precious Japanese sake is an endlessly fascinating beverage. With the 18th Sake Fair, city'super will continue to unveil the sake’s enigma. Seeking out sake brewers for their unique and interesting stories, our quest is for innovative sake flavours that will make a divine match with food. This year, we will present quality sakes from all over Japan so you can savour the best sakes from different regions.
WAKAYAMA'S FAVOURITE SAKE - KUROSHI
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At the southern tip of Honshu, Japan, Wakayama has a warm and temperate climate and mountainous terrain. This coastal city produces a rich variety of fruits and abundant seafood that the locals are proud of.
Wakayama residents are very supportive of locally produced sake, and over 60% of the sake produced by Nate Shuzou are consumed locally. To procure better sake, the brewery uses rice from specially contracted farmers, and visits their paddy fields periodically to monitor rice quality. In addition, the rice is milled in-house to ensure it meets Kuroushi’s standards. Among the brand’s product offerings, the “Kuroushi”  junmai stands out as the most unique. Some of sake with black bull label are brewed by Omachi rice, giving it a supremely rich flavour in the mouth, ideal for pairing with meats. Since Wakayama produces abundant fruits, the brewery also makes different fruit liqueurs, including an umeshu brewed from Nankou plums grown in the region—truly a king of fruit liqueurs.
The 5th generation owner of Kuroushi, Mr. Takakazu Nate believes that their sake has to be true to the spirit of the people of Wakayama and ideal for daily consumption
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Washing the rice is the first step for sake rice to absorb water. Kuroushi uses a well water source inside the brewery, which shares the same source as Wakayama Prefecture’s famous waters, and is a slightly hard water.
 
The staff at the brewery closely monitors the sake brewing process and adjusts temperature.
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Kuroushi Kanzan Tobin Junmai Daiginjo
HK$490/ 720ml
Elegant fruitiness on the nose, followed by a silky, transparent and rounded palate.
 
Kuroushi Junmai
HK$165/ 720ml
A mild aroma brings out the mellow umami of rice. An outstanding partner for food.
A FORWARD LOOKING JUNMAI SAKE - BORN
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Located in Fukui Prefecture Sakamoto City, Born is renowned among connoisseurs. The award-winning sake is in over 100 Japanese embassies all around the world.
Brewery was established since 1860, formerly known Koshinoi has already renowned in different connoisseurs. The name “Born” connotes birth and creation, and represents the vision of the brewery’s owners throughout its history: to bring sake culture and industry to the rest of the world and create a better future. To promote the motto “Simple is the Best”, the 11th generation owner of Born, Atsuhide Kato, puts in tremendous efforts to produce only junmai sake since 18 years ago.
State-of-the-art monitoring system allows the owner to monitor each step of the brewing process even when he is overseas. Staff will also rehearse the crucial fermentation process many times before officially beginning the real fermentation process. Mr. Kato is proud of the fact that since implementing such a system, fermentation has never failed and is instrumental in producing sake of extremely high quality. He also vigorously promotes young talent, most of the staff working at Born are young. By combining technology and youthful drive, Born is truly intent on creating a better future.
The 11th generation brewery owner’s ambition toward international exposure led to the use of Born sake at many international Japanese ceremonies.
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Craftsmen at Born have to spread the rice after it is steamed in order to cool it.
Dummy plastic rice is placed at the bottom of the rice steamer to prevent sake rice from overheating. This dummy rice is made using renowned eyeglass frame technology from the city of Sabae, Fukui, likely the only one to do so.
Born Wing Of Japan Junmai Daiginjo
HK$770/ 720ml
Aged at icy temperatures for 2 years, resulting in a velvety texture and a lingering aftertaste.
 
Born Tokusen Junmai Daiginjo
HK$360/ 720ml
Rich fruitiness with bittersweet grapefruit notes on the finish.
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A MARRIAGE WITH THE WEST, A LASTING FLAVOUR - TAMAGAWA
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It’s hard to believe that a British man is brewing Japanese sake, but the story behind this man, who breathed fresh life into an old brand, is a compelling tale of persistent and relentless improvement.
Before Philip Harper joined Tamagawa, the brewery had produced only a small variety of outdated products. The 11th generation owner Kinoshita Yoshito was seeking a good master brewer and was fortunate in meeting Philip. Philip employed an ancient brewing method, yamahai, a wild fermentation process, as the new direction for Tamagawa. Tamagawa sake is unique in that it can be stored at room temperature, and he uses the Japanese word for “masculine” to describe his solid and tough sakes. The sake is brewed using spring water, a soft water, and its flavours differ when it’s served at room temperature, cold, or warm. Tamagawa sake is also ideal for a large variety of foods, making it extremely versatile. A few aged sakes can even be paired with the strongly flavoured blue cheese, showcasing a unqiue marriage of flavours between Western and Japanese.
Philip has been at Tamagawa for 10 years and works seamlessly with brewery owner Kinoshita Yoshito and the team at the brewery. Many of the current products were developed by him.  
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The colour of the koji is slightly green and is an important ingredient in fermenting sake.
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Tamagawa Gyokuryu Yamahai Junmai Daiginjo
HK$500/ 720ml
Fermented with wild yeast, integrating the elegance of junmai daiginjo and the complexity resulting from natural fermentation methods. Best drunk warm.
 
Tamagawa Stork Junmai Ginjo
HK$270/ 720ml
Made from pesticide-free organic rice, resulting in a rice vivid aroma and flavour.
THE FULL FLAVOUR OF KYOTO - EIKUN
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Kyoto is a city full of history and traditional flavours. Fushimi in Kyoto, in particular, was famous for its water, leading to the flourishing of many different sake breweries.
The family brewery of Eikun dates back centuries in Fushimi, and turned to sake brewing in 1895. To create a 100% Kyoto sake full of Kyoto character, the brewery uses a rice variety, Iwai, that is unique to Kyoto and only recently re-planted in the region. This is not an easy rice to brew sake from. Although “Iwai” rice grains are large with a rich umami flavour, its larger germ makes these rice grains prone to cracking. Since it absorbs water so quickly, the amount of time to wash the rice is difficult to control (only 1/10 of the time other sake rice varieties need). Even a second more or less can make a big difference in results, and much effort is needed to brew Iwai rice sake. The brewery’s owner, Toru Saito, compared his sake brewing process to striking a bull’s eye in archery.  Eikun’s tremendous efforts has won him many recent awards for his Iwai rice sake, since this exquisite rice variety shows a harmonious and smooth flavour in the mouth, transporting one back to the elegance of ancient Kyoto.  
Brewery owner Saito uses Iwai rice, a variety grown only in Kyoto that only brewers from the city are allowed to use.
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Iwai brown and white rice grains. Iwai rice grains are harder to polish because of the larger grains than a normal sake rice. It cracks and dissolves easily, which requires careful handling during the brewing process.
 
Careful handling is required to ferment Iwai rice, as it tends to dissolve quickly which will make the sake overly heavy. Each step has to be carefully fine-tuned.
Eikun Ichigin Junmai Daiginjo
HK$595/ 720ml
Made from Yamada Nishiki rice planted in Kyoto, this displays an elegant and refined palate.
 
Eikun Izutsuya Ihei Junmai Daiginjo
HK$355/ 720ml
Made from Iwai, a rice unique to Kyoto, and the prefecture’s famous soft water, this displays a soft and delicate palate.
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