The Chunichi Newspaper site has a report on the Wakatsuru brewery in Toyama Prefecture, and their new range of sake made from the sake-specific rice Oyama Nishiki.
The brewery, based in Tonami city, announced on 18 July 2018 that they were overhauling part of their sake range. They are turning their signature Wakatsuru brand into a high-class product, and expanding their brewing with locally-grown prefectural rice variety Oyama Nishiki.
The new products will go on sale from 5 September 2018.
Their range includes Nōka-ya (苗加屋), aimed at the restaurant and bar market, Gen (玄), targeted at individual buyers, and Wakatsuru. The brewery reorganised the three brands and the 300 products they include. They created a new sub-brand under Wakatsuru, Yō (瑶), to respond to demand for a product to be given as a gift. They also plan to increase exports of Nōka-ya.
Oyama Nishiki is a sake-specific rice variety registered in 2001. Although other varieties such as the Yamada Nishiki grown in Hyōgo are more well-known, Oyama Nishiki is challenging because of its fast water absorption but rewards the effort with umami and a particularly mellow end result.
The brewery is launching six new products, including two varieties of Wakatsuru junmai daiginjō Yō Shizuku 40 (JPY 3,240 including tax for 720 ml), and Nōka-ya junmai ginjō Reinoheki (JPY 1,458 including tax for 720 ml). The sake is brewed with Oyama Nishiki from the same town. Owner Shigeru Kushida hopes that brewing with Oyama Nishiki will help to raise the bar for all sake in Toyama Prefecture.