Joto Sake is a relatively new but already massive sake importer here in the U.S. (it was founded by the man behind Ciao Bella Gelato), and recently the company sent a couple of its bottlings for us check out.
Chikurin Fukamari Junmai comes from the only 100% estate bottled sake made in Japan. The brewery dates back to 1867. This sake is rich and pungent, featuring big melon notes and a bigger finish. More melons, earth, and evergreen character in the finale — but the conclusion comes off as a bit rough on the palate. B / $34
Yuki No Bosha Nigori Junmai Ginjo is an unfiltered sake: Lots of sediment can be seen settled at the bottom of the bottle. The drinker is intended to shake it before pouring. Very bright on the nose, this sake is tart and citrus-inflected, with a lot of earthiness, too. Melon comes on strong in the finish. Tricky and complicated, it lacks both smoothness and balance. B- / $36