Two new Tempus Fugit products have arrived: a vermouth rosso from Torino, and a Chinato. Both are flippin’ awesome, as you would expect no less from the TF label. The vermouth isn’t quite as sweet as Carpano Antica, but not as lean as the Cocchi. The Chinato is stellar. Beautiful labels, of course. But that's really their calling card, isn't it?
We're expanding into more sake in the Redwood City store as well. Jeff Garneau and I tasted a bunch yesterday and we thought our shelf would be better represented with the following products:
Tentaka Kuni "Hawk in the Heavens" Junmai Sake 720ml $24.99 - Milled to 55%, this Junmai sake from Tochigi Prefecture made from Gohyakumangoku rice is brewed with water from an underground mountain spring. This is round in style, with a floral note at the finish. "Dry and crisp, the flavors are dominated by mixed nuts, fresh cut green grass and other earthier flavors. Very pleasing for those who want fresh sake flavor, but more complexity beyond the fermented fruit flavors.
Nanbu Bijin "Ancient Pillars" Junmai Daiginjo Sake 720ml $69.99 - Yamada Nishiki Milled to 35%, made by Nanbu Bijin Shuzo in the Iwate Prefecture (one of the coldest and snowiest regions of Japan). This is a nama-chozo (pasteurized only once) genshu (not diluted with water) sake, which means it was pasteurized only once before shipping (rather than twice) and was naturally brewed to 17.9% alcohol. Nanbu Bikin is located in the southern part of the Iwate Prefecture in a region called Nanbu, known specifically for its prestine water. Very fine in flavor, with a juicy note of citrus and a searing mineral backbone. Simply fantastic.
Nanbu Bijin "Southern Beauty" Junmai Ginjo Sake 720ml $32.99 - With 50% of the rice polished away, the creamier elements of the grain are allowed to shine in the "Southern Beauty". Rounder on the palate, with hints of white pepper of the finish, this is like a fuller-bodied Chardonnay. Lovely stuff.
Tensei "Thousand Waves" Tokubetsu Junmai Yamahai Sake 500ml $49.99 - You might recognize this one from our sake night on the town post a few weeks back. This was the one we finished with. A rare and highly-refinded sake from Tensei, made from rice polished down to 60% and bottled in hand-made, hand-painted ceramic bottles. Only 1000 bottles are produced each year using the yamahai method, using naturally occurring lactic bacteria at the beginning of fermentation to create a wilder, more explosive flavor. The palate is a layered wave of sweet, tart, and gamey flavors. Citrus, banana, cocoa, with higher acidity than normal. Kumazawa Shuzo brewery was founded in 1872 and has been in the family for 13 generations.