This is a first for the site. We’ve never reviewed a sake before, but there’s a line of sake available at Costco from TYKU (big name, you’ll see it around elsewhere too) that we wanted to take a look at.
Today, we’re tasting their Junmai Sake, which is considered a premium sake with 70% rice grain remaining. The more premium sake in the line from here reduce the rice grain percentage down to 50%. I only had a chance to taste this base level “premium” sake, and enjoyed it, and I’m sure it only gets better from here. (The Junmai classification represents the top 15% of all sake in the world)
Despite four trips to Japan and family living in Tokyo, I’m not a self proclaimed sake expert. I’ve tasted my fair share over the years, with prices all over the spectrum, cold and warm (not my favorite) but pretty much end up with a thumbs up or thumbs down rating on the bottles.
I’ve not versed enough to distinguish between all the nuances as many somms, and other experts might be. So to that extent, I can say this bottle falls within the thumbs up category (we won’t be officially rating it).
It pours just about clear, maybe with a slight, barely noticeable tint of gold. the nose was a little nutty; flavors of light peach, orange, a touch of sweetness; nutmeg and then the finish is creamy with vanilla, relatively dry.
It’s definitely a bottle you want to enjoy chilled, as many of the harsher aspects come out after the glass sits at room temperature for a bit. The chill masks those, and creates a very smooth and easy drinking sake.
Costco’s price is around $13, which is below the retail I found that was around $17. It’s also worth noting this sake is produced in Japan’s Nara prefecture, which is considered the birthplace of sake.
I thought this was a fun bottle to try for a change. We didn’t pair it with food, but sake can accompany just about anything. I think there’s a saying that sake is like rice (very much so actually), it can go with anything.
CostcoWineBlog.com Rating: Thumbs up
Costco item number: 610177
This wine was received as a sample for the purpose of writing this review. All reviews are written at the discretion of the individual reviewer. Opinions of the reviewer do not necessarily reflect those of CostcoWineBlog.com as a whole, and reviewers are not paid for their reviews by wineries or their affiliated distributors. We at CostcoWineBlog.com believe that wine preferences and opinions are often subjective and highly individualistic. Our scores are based on our individual perception of a wine and how well it reflects the area in which the grapes are grown, the expression of the grapes, and also the quality of the finished product. We remind readers that we are 100% independent of Costco Wholesale Corporation, and are simply of a group of Costco wine fans looking to try new wines and share our favorites with this community.