Nenohi Junmai: Sake With Excellent Kire

Morita Sake Brewery

In 1665, the Morita family began brewing sake on the Chita Peninsula in Aichi Prefecture. Later, miso (fermented soybean paste) and soy sauce were added to the family's product lineup. Over the nearly 350 years since its founding, the Morita family has been engaged in the business of brewery and fermentation - traditional Japanese food production arts.

Morita has continuously brewed sake through the centuries since its founding in 1665. However, it was Meiki Morita, the 11th head of the family, who improved the quality of Morita's sake to such a remarkable degree in the mid-19th century that it gained widespread respect. Meiki, who finally achieved the high standards in sake production,  chose to name the brand "Nenohi Matsu."

"Nenohi" means "Day of the Rat" according to the Chinese zodiac. "Matsu" means "pine." Together, this name refers to a type of entertainment from the imperial palace in Ancient Kyoto, in which young pine seedlings were cut and the greenery plucked while poems were recited to celebrate longevity, on the first Day of the Rat after the New Year.


Nenohi Junmai no Sake 

This dry junmai (pure rice) sake has a flavor that allows you to savor the umami of the rice. This sake is also known for its excellent kire.

"Kire" refers to the aftertaste of sake. Sake is said to have good kire if, after sipping, the flavor disappears quickly leaving no unpleasant tastes behind. Conversely, sake with bad kire has cloying flavors that linger stubbornly in the mouth.

Generally, sake with controlled amounts of umami has good kire, while sake with strong umami tends to have poor kire. Thus it is a rare brewmaster whose skills are evidenced by achieving the difficult task of balancing the opposing characteristics of strong umami and haba with good kire.

This junmai is delicious at any temperature, served either cold or warm.

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