Sake Splash: Tanizakura Shiboritate

Easy-peasy sake squeezy.

Welcome back to Sake Splash with Eda!

We are revisiting the wonderful Tanizakura Shuzo (谷桜酒造) this week but with a different sake in our glass! Say hello to Tanizakura Shiboritate. This sake is freshly squeezed in the southern foothills of Mt. Yatsugatake in the Yamanashi Prefecture of Japan. Tanizakura is translated as valley cherry blossoms, which can be found around the mountain. This sake brings to mind those very flowers.

This sake is a honjozo nama genshu in the shiboritate style, but what exactly does that mean? Let’s make it easier to digest. Typically, sake is allowed to rest and mature after pressing for six months or more but shiboritate sake is pressed, bottled, and put on the market without letting the sake rest. Shiboritate sake is often robust, fruity, full of flavor, and free-spirited. The term nama refers to an unpasteurized sake, while the word genshu indicates a sake that does not have water added to it to adjust the flavor or alcohol content. On the other hand, this is a honjozo meaning that high strength alcohol is added to the mash during fermentation to help bring out the aroma.

It’s not often that you see a 720ml sized sake in an aluminum can! There’s an interesting contrast between the industrial edginess of the bottle and the romantic pink and white label, splashed with cherry blossom petals. The calligraphy on the bottle is bold and declarative but rounded just enough to give a cute impression. This bottle has a charm all of its own but there are also technical benefits to this type of bottle. The aluminum protects the unpasteurized sake from light, keeping the flavor of the sake fresh and true. It’s also easier to transport this bottle from place to place (no glass!) and the aluminum makes for fast and efficient chilling.

Photo by Susanne Jutzeler from Pexels

I love how Tanizakura Shiboritate is scented! There are notes of almond, cherry blossom, honey, and fresh cream in the aroma. Tanizakura Shiboritate has an elevated ABV at 19% and pours clean and clear with a slight straw-colored tint. This medium bodied sake tastes smooth and lush in the mouth, almost creamy. It has a satisfying medium acidity and is somewhat sweet in the initial impression with a refreshing finish. There is a mild umami in this sake that would pair well with roasted pistachios, white fish sashimi, and oden. I could also see this sake pairing nicely with sweets such as strawberry shortcake and cherry marzipan pastries. I’m drooling already…

Tanizakura Shiboritate is such a fun and enjoyable sake to drink and even more so to share. This sake would be just the thing to bring for hanami, a flower viewing party/picnic, or even perfect for a relaxed gathering. Have you ever tried a shiboritate sake and how was your experience? We’d love to know!

Did you catch our last article on Tanizakura Ryuryushinku?

Please drink responsibly and we’ll see you next time on Sake Splash!