Liberty Wines adds first saké to its portfolio

29 June 2017

Liberty Wines has been appointed UK agent for Tosa Brewery’s Keigetsu range of saké. Based in the Kochi prefecture of Japan, Tosa Brewery is said to complement Liberty's ever-growing portfolio.

'We are extremely excited to be making our first foray into saké,' Liberty Wines’ buyer Jennifer Docherty MW, SSI Kikisake-shi (master of saké), said.

'Tosa Brewery’s dedication to quality and commitment to sustainability reflect our own values and make them our perfect partner.

'Mr Muneki Matsumoto, Tosa’s sixth-generation owner and toji (master saké brewer), makes his premium saké at the brewery which his family has owned for 140 years. He uses the soft, pristine local water, and organically grown local rice varieties from his own paddies situated at 300-600 metres above sea level. We are sure his smooth, balanced and refined style of Sake will appeal to our customers.'

Founded in 1877, the Tosa brewery can be found in the mountainous region of Tosa Ryohoku, prized for its cool climate and clean air. Matsumoto’s high-altitude rice paddies lie within two kilometres of the brewery where the local varieties are said to thrive on terraces carved out of the steep hills, worked only by hand.

The following Keigetsu saké, available through Liberty Wines, in its own words:

Keigetsu Tokubetsu Junmai
Polish Rate: 60%
ABV: 15%
RRP: £25.99 per 72cl bottle

Made from hinohikari, a local table rice from the Aikawa region. The nose leads with honeydew melon and sweet chestnut paste. The palate is round and silky, with yellow peach on the finish, and is true to its tokubetsu (‘special’) designation, with a higher polish rate than a normal junmai saké. It can be served warm or chilled.

Keigetsu Yuzu Sake
ABV: 8%
RRP: £25.99 per 72cl bottle

Bursting with yuzu citrus fruit (an intense mix of lemon, tangerine and lime aromas with a fragrant lift), sweet on the palate, with just 8% abv, it is made as a junmai and then blended with yuzu juice, honey and sugar. Best served chilled, like all the Keigetsu Saké, either as an aperitif or with dessert.

Keigetsu Junmai Daiginjo
Polish Rate: 45%
ABV: 15%
RRP: £31.99 per 72cl bottle

Made from gin no yume rice, as a junmai daiginjo, it has delicate aromas of lychee and rose, and is dry on the palate with great purity on the finish. It is a style that appeals particularly to the first-time saké drinker.

Keigetsu ‘John’ Sparkling Saké
Polish Rate: 50%
ABV: 15%
RRP: £48.99 per 75cl bottle
Created by Mr Matsumoto following a request from his Taiwanese friend, John, for a dry, sparkling Sake, the gin no yume rice is brewed as a junmai daiginjo, before it is made sparkling by adding CO2. The Sake is crystal clear, with aromas of peach and cherry blossom on the nose, supported by lively bubbles and a bone-dry finish on the palate. It was awarded the Sparkling Sake Trophy at the International Wine Challenge in 2016.  Its kanji (Chinese character) happens to be ‘craftsmanship’ in Japanese.


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