Shichiken x Alain Ducasse Sparkling Sake
We have a superb novelty to present to you, a sparkling sake born from the close collaboration between the Yamanashi Meijo brewery, Alain Ducasse, and Gérard Margeon, Chef Sommelier Ducasse Paris. Meet Shichiken x Alain Ducasse Sparkling Sake !
About the brewery
The Yamanashi Meijo brewery produces the Shichiken sake that we distribute in France. In addition to their classic range from Honjozo to Daiginjo, Yamanashi Meijo has mastered the development of sparkling sake, methods she has perfected year after year since 2015.
Yamanashi Meijo’s brewery, a Shichiken sake producer, is located in the village of Hakushu.
Yamanashi Meijo located in the heart of the Japanese Alps, in the village of Hakushu (this name will undoubtedly evoke beauxsouvenirs to whisky lovers). It is a family brewery founded in 1750 by Nakaya Ihei Kitahara then representing a long line of brewers established for seven generations in Nagano. During his travels, Iehi Kitahara discovered in Hakushu a source so remarkable that he decided to leave his family and his region of origin to start his own brewery. This beautiful water comes from the melting snow of nearby Mount Kai Komagatake. It feeds the valley after being slowly filtered through granitic rock and loaded with minerals essential for sake production.
Landscapes of Yamanashi. In the immediate vicinity of the brewery with Mount Kai Komagatake, natural springs, rice fields and valleys.
In a few years, the reputation of Yamanashi Meijo has crossed the limits of the locality, to the point that Emperor Meiji, a great lover of sake, stopped there during official visits. Since then, the family home has been considered a landmark in Japan. Today, the production of sake is still in the hands of the Kirahara family, the two brothers Ryogo and Tsushima represent the 12th generation of brewers.
From inspiration to elaboration, the art of producing sparkling sake
Shichiken x Alain Ducasse Sparkling Sake is directly inspired by the Mediterranean Sea, the terroir of Alain Ducasse. Gérard Margeon, Chef Sommelier at Ducasse Paris, was keen to combine the spirituality of the Mediterranean with that of Yamanashi. After receiving flavours from Margeon and exchanging opinions, Yamanashi Meijo master brewer Ryogo Kitahara adopted the Kijoshu method by combining it with the same process of secondary fermentation in bottles as champagne. Then a rare sparkling sake developed which is then matured in cherry barrels. This unique process has made it possible to give birth to unique aromas.
The meeting between four enthusiasts
As you will have understood, the history of this sake is above all the story of a meeting between four passionate at the intersection of two cultures. Through the lines that follow, we have transcribed the impressions of each one as they are.
Tsushima Kitahara, President of Yamanashi Meijo: "Sake is an essential element of the Japanese culinary universe, a source of inspiration for French cuisine that turns with passion to it. Through this project, I naturally wanted to propose a new taste experience, but also to transmit to future generations the soul of our two cultures. It is a philosophy that we share with Alain Ducasse: we rely on tradition to innovate better, without ceasing ".
Alain Ducasse: "It’s the desire to discover and share a unique experience that led me to Yamanashi, a place with a rich natural environment and a colourful lifestyle. The resulting sparkling sake is the result of a meeting of people, nature and subtle graphics. Beauty before taste! The flavours and textures are the expression of the terroir, they not only excite the senses, they reflect the result of the meticulous work of passionate brewers".
Ryoko Kitahara, Toji, head brewer, Yamanashi Meijo: "I strive to consistently produce sake that embodies the soul of my region. Fresh and lively sake, with beautiful rice aromas. Alain Ducasse’s culinary creations seem both classic and very avant-garde, stimulating. It is an honour for me to take part in this adventure and it is with the utmost sincerity that I want to convey my passion, at the same time as making everyone feel the breath of Hakushu".
Gérard Margeon, Chef Sommelier Ducasse Paris: "this sparkling sake is as clear as Yamanashi water, a sparkling crystal. The nose is complex, it releases three different aromas that are expressed in three stages: the top note is that of lily of the valley flowers. It is followed by a fruity, more complex heart note, melon vine peach and white cherries. The third note is intense, with a touch of cardamom and pepper. A sake that quenches pleasantly. The bubbles are fine, impressive and dynamic, with a silky and energetic mouth".
With Shichiken x Alain Ducasse Sparkling Sake, we really get the impression that a new and beautiful personality is emerging at the brewery! A personality that perfectly complements the range of sparklers. But it is by extending for a moment this framework, towards the world of sake in its entirety, that we become more aware of the spirit of innovation that surrounds this product. Inspired by the inspiration of these four wise men who want to achieve excellence, we witness live the marriage of two cultures. Elegance, technique... and bubbles... what more could you ask for!