BLACK MARKET SAKE        PHILOSOPHY        PRODUCERS        MAP        STOCKISTS        GLOSSARY

 

Known since ancient times as the land of the ninja, Iga is also the town that is home to Moriki Shuzō in the prefecture of Mie. Located in central Japan, Mie faces the Pacific and lies between the cities of Nagoya, Ōsaka and Kyōto. The Mie coastline extends over 1000 kilometers and contains beautiful rugged coasts and beautiful scenery. Mie is rich in nature, and as such over one-third of its area is designated as nature reserves and parks.

Rumiko Moriki is the 4th generation of her family to own the brewery, and along with her husband Hideki, they are not only the Kuramoto [owners] of this tiny brewery, they also are the Tōji [master brewers] of their mostly handmade Sake. The first generations of the Moriki family had always employed a Tōji to create their sake, but during Rumiko's parents generation, times were financially difficult and so out of necessity her parents started working alongside the Tōji to make the Sake. When Rumiko's father was unable to continue working at the Kura about 25 years ago, Rumiko and Hideki, who had recently married, stepped in and started working alongside the Tōji instead.  Nine years later Rumiko and Hideki became the Tōji themselves. It was at this time that they committed to making only Junmai [pure rice] sake, at the highest level they could achieve.  16 years later the Hanabusa, Tae no Hana and Suppin Rumiko no Sake are the quintessence of their dedication to top quality brewing.

Nearly all work in the Moriki Shuzō is done by hand, the same way their Sake has been made for centuries, which is very laborious but Rumiko's motto is "a lot of hard work in the making of the best quality sake she can, means being honest to her customers".  It is truly a remarkable brewery with wooden vats full of steamed rice being carried around on the Moriki’s and their workers shoulders,  including up wooden planks to get the rice into the fermentation tanks.  About 25% of their sake production is from their own organically farmed rice, and the rest is sourced from areas that specialise in the particular rice variety that will produce the best result for the style of Sake they wish to brew and they still use Yeast Strain #6 in their brews which is very unusual nowadays.

The Moriki’s also produce an Arabashiri version of each Sake they ferment, which is always unique to see bottled.  Most sake is made by pressing the freshly brewed Sake, which extracts the most amount of liquid out of a brew for bottling.  In the case of Arabashiri however, cotton sacks are filled with the freshly brewed sake [so liquid and solids together] and are layered on top of each other inside a ‘Fune’, which is a traditional wooden press, but instead of pressing the Sake they let the liquid slowly seep out due to the natural weight of the contents of the sacks.

Junmai = Pure Rice Sake

Daiginjō = Rice polished down to 50%

                 or less of its original size

Muroka = No Charcoal Filtration

Nama = Unpastuerised

Genshu = Undiluted

Arabashiri = Free Run Sake


Rice type: Yamada Nishiki [Organic]

Rice polishing: 50%

Alcohol: 16.4%

Yeast Strain: #6

Moriki Shuzō ‘Hanabusa’ 2011

Style: Junmai Daiginjō Muroka Nama Genshu Arabashiri

Serve: Chilled

Hanabusa has a soft aroma of aniseed and fresh apple with a palate that provides fresh, smooth flavour with elegant sweetness with a hint of blanched almond and fresh apple and a long, warm finish.


Bottle Size: 720ml

Moriki Shuzō ‘Suppin Rumiko no Sake’ 2013

Style: Junmai Ginjō Muroka Nama Genshu Arabashiri

Serve: Chilled

Suppin Rumiko no Sake has a lovely rice bran aroma with a mineral palate with hints of pear and brown sugar.  Soft  textural palate, bracing acidity with a dry finish.


Bottle Size: 720ml

Junmai = Pure Rice Sake

Ginjō = Rice polished down to 60%

            or less of its original size

Muroka = No Charcoal Filtration

Nama = Unpastuerised

Genshu = Undiluted

Arabashiri = Free Run Sake


Rice type [Kojimai]: Yamada Nishiki [from Tokushima]

Rice type [Kakemai]: Hattan Nishiki [from Hiroshima]

Rice polishing: 60%

Alcohol: 17.3%

Yeast Strain: #6


*Kōjimai is the moto-starter rice

*Kakemai is the fermentation tank rice

shapeimage_6_link_0

Moriki Shuzō ‘Tae no Hana’ Yamada Nishiki 2009

Style: Junmai Ginjō Yamahai Muroka Nama Genshu Arabashiri

Serve: Chilled

Tae no Hana ‘Yamada Nishiki’ has aromas of creamy rice and salted butterscotch with a rich, warm, umami palate with delicate ricey sweetness,  white pepper and hints of brown sugar with a long, dry finish.



Bottle Size:   720ml

                 

Junmai = Pure Rice Sake

Ginjō = Rice polished down to 60%

            or less of its original size

Yamahai = Traditional Yeast Starter

Muroka = No Charcoal Filtration

Nama = Unpastuerised

Genshu = Undiluted

Arabashiri = Free Run Sake


Rice type: Yamada Nishiki

Rice polishing: 60%

Alcohol: 17.5%

Yeast Strain: Natural

You may have tried Suppin Rumiko no Sake matched on the degustation menu at Garagistes, Hobart:

with Chef Luke Burgess’ dish of Flinders Island fatty lamb chop, garlic scapes, cleavers + alexanders

or with

Robbins Island flat iron steak, cos lettuce + grilled asparagus sauce


Chef Luke Burgess from Garagistes, Hobart created a fantastic match at a Sake degustation at Sidecar, Hobart for the Suppin Rumiko no Sake of:

Caramelised apple, potato mousse, sour cream, buckwheat, young garlic


Chef Darren Templeman at Restaurant Atelier, Sydney created a fantastic match for the Suppin Rumiko no Sake at a Sake degustation of:

Marron Tail with Wild Fennel, Fennel Pollen, Crispy Pig’s Ear, Sea Vegetable Jelly

shapeimage_9_link_0

Previously imported Moriki Shuzō meigara [brand]:

The ‘Tae no Hana’ range:

shapeimage_9_link_0

Moriki Shuzō ‘Tae no Hana’ Yamahai 2009

Style: Junmai Ginjō Yamahai Muroka Nama Genshu Arabashiri

Serve: Chilled

The Tae no Hana ‘Yamahai’ has an earthy aroma with hints of cocoa, and a full-bodied palate with cocoa butter character and lingering acidity.



Bottle Size:   720ml

                  

Junmai = Pure Rice Sake

Ginjō = Rice polished down to 60%

            or less of its original size

Yamahai = Traditional Yeast Starter

Muroka = No Charcoal Filtration

Nama = Unpastuerised

Genshu = Undiluted

Arabashiri = Free Run Sake


Rice type: Bizen Omachi

Rice polishing: 60%

Alcohol: 17.8%

Yeast Strain: Natural

Moriki Shuzō ‘Tae no Hana’ Kimoto 2013

Style: Junmai Kimoto Muroka Nama Genshu Arabashiri

Serve: Chilled

This Tae no Hana is Kimoto [original yeast starter method]  and the rice has only polished down to 90%, which means only 10% of the rice grain has been removed, producing a more robust character in the resulting Sake. Aromas of freshly fermenting Sake and pears.  A round mouthfeel with a hint of spice and pear fruit. The finish is long and delicate.


Bottle Size:   720ml

                  


Junmai = Pure Rice Sake

Kimoto = Original Yeast Starter

Muroka = No Charcoal Filtration

Nama = Unpastuerised

Genshu = Undiluted

Arabashiri = Free Run Sake


Rice type: Omachi

Rice polishing: 90%

Alcohol: 16.9%

Yeast Strain: #7