This is fairly thick and chewy nigorizake (cloudy sake), but it is still surprisingly dry. The aromas are bright and fresh and they show a lovely ricey and fruity combination. In the mouth, this sake has solid weight and gives the same flavors of fresh fruit and creamy fresh rice that your nose told you about. The finish has a pleasant astringency and is nicely mellow, beckoning you for another mouthful. You will rarely taste a classier Nigori at this price, and this may be the ultimate food-friendly Nigori.
About Snow Maiden
The image on the label is a koi, or Japanese carp. Ornamental domesticated carp have been bred for their bright colors for centuries in Japan. Perhaps the most famous koi is one named Hanako which reportedly lived for 226 years! Hanako translates to "Flower Maiden", but in homage to the long-lived Hanako which lived in the icy waters at the foot of Japan's Mt. Ontake, we have named this sake "Snow Maiden".
Daimon Shuzo, founded in 1826, is located at the foot of the scenic Ikoma mountain range in Katano City (near Osaka).
Katano occupies a well-known spot in Japanese history. During the Heian era (over 1000 years ago), the aristocracy of Western Japan flocked to Katano to enjoy the very beautiful scenery that abounded there including lovely cherry blossoms in the spring and the verdant surrounding mountains.
Hunting was the main sport of the gentry and cotton seed oil and silk production were the usual industries of the residents.
Sake production began during the Edo period, but of the many sake-producing firms originally present, only Daimon Shuzo and one other remain.
Tozai represents a unique collaboration between a fifth-generation Japanese sake brewery—Daimon Shuzo, a British-born Master Sake Brewer—Philip Harper, a prominent Kyoto-based American artist—Daniel Kelly, and America's leading importer of chilled, premium, artisanal Japanese sake—Vine Connections. Tozai means "East-West" in Japanese and evokes the spirit of the alliance that created this special sake. We have combined our vast experience, skills, and passions to create a boutique sake that will thrill your senses of smell, taste, and sight.
View all Tozai Wines
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.