The Osaka Sake Awards 2019 (Shiga, Kyoto, Osaka, Hyogo, Nara, and Wakayama Prefectures) are held in accordance with the following aims:
The Kansai region, which includes Osaka City, Kobe City, and Kyoto City, is well known for its sake consumption, and both Nada (Coastal Nishinomiya City and Kobe City) and Fushimi (southern Kyoto City) are Japan's largest sake producing areas. The Kansai region possesses state-of-the-art technology for sake making, and is well known for producing high-quality sakes.
The Kansai region extends from the Sea of Japan, with its colder oceanic climate, to the Pacific Ocean, with its milder climate. Consequently, there are a large number of breweries that produce a wide variety of rich, mellow, and crisp sakes.
Ginjo-shu (“Labeling Standards for the Manufacturing Process and Quality of Sake [National Tax Agency Notice No. 8, 1989]”) produced during the 2018 brewing year (July 2018 to June 2019).
Warmed sake made using rice with a rice-polishing ratio of at least 60%, with no limitation on brewing year.
September 26 (Thursday), 27 (Friday) and October 2 (Wednesday), 2019
Alcoholic Beverage Evaluation Office, Fourth Floor, Osaka National Government Building No. 3
Evaluations were conducted by a panel of 52 judges (individuals under the age of 65 years at the time of the quality assessments with broad knowledge and expertise in the quality assessment of alcoholic beverages, such as staff members of prefectural brewing-related organizations and toji, or master sake brewers).
Ginjo-shu was evaluated at room temperature, and warmed sake was evaluated at approximately 45°C after heating in a vessel containing water at 50-52°C.
Overall quality was evaluated for the following qualities of sake deemed to be “good”.
Ginjo-shu: Harmony of aroma and flavor that is distinctive of ginjo-shu and present in a matured and mellow taste.
Warmed sake: Harmony of aroma and flavor that elicits a desire that cannot be sated.
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The 2018 brewing year was challenging with regards to the management of fermentation. This was partly due to the relatively high solubility of the rice and, in terms of climate conditions, the fact that warm weather generally persisted throughout the winter. Given these circumstances, sake producers outdid themselves in their application of sake making techniques mastered through rigorous daily training and their observance of appropriate storage methods in the heat of summer. Their efforts have facilitated the production of many sakes of excellent quality with well-balanced aroma and flavor.
We saw many examples of sakes that, while characterized by a gorgeous yet robust bouquet that was evocative of fruit and a refined taste appropriate for ginjo, also managed to balance these qualities with a mellow flavor achieved by aging.
These were richly varied with an abundance of individuality. Bouquets ranged from mild to having a full-bodied quality that comes with maturity. Similarly, in terms of taste, some entries were characterized by a refreshing aftertaste, others by a long, drawn-out finish, and still others by a fullness of flavor derived from their acidity.
Breweries whose entries received superior scores for quality were awarded the Osaka Regional Taxation Bureau Commissioner's “Excellence Prize”.