May 30, 2018
Gekkeikan entered Tokusen sake in the International Wine Challenge (IWC) 2018 Sake Competition and was awarded a Gold Medal in the Honjozo Category, as well as a Great Value Sake for its excellent quality and cost performance (also received the Kyoto Honjozo Trophy). In addition, Tsuki Genshu was awarded a Gold Medal in the Futsu-shu Category. The award ceremony was held on May 18 at the Hotel Metropolitan Yamagata, where Gekkeikan Sake Co. Ltd.’s Senior Managing Director and Production Manager Eiji Ichikawa received the awards.
Tokusen is brewed in the Honjozo style, which involves carefully polishing high-quality brown rice perfectly suited to brewing and fermenting it slowly at a low temperature to bring out its flavor at a moderate level of maturity. With an elegant fragrance and a full, refined flavor, it is distinguished by its ability to complement food without overpowering the flavor of the latter, which is why it has long been used by many Japanese restaurants in Kyoto, where Gekkeikan is brewed.
Tsuki Genshu is a genshu (undiluted sake) that comes in a carton pack and is used for the popular, mild-tasting Tsuki brand. This sake has been highly acclaimed for its rich flavor typical of genshu sake, and its tasting is limited to managers and other people involved in the brewing process even within Gekkeikan. In January 2018, we released a limited edition of Tsuki Genshu to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Tsuki sake brand.
Gekkeikan aims at brewing sake of the highest quality throughout all types, ranging from futsu-shu to junmai daiginjo. The fundamental principle behind our efforts at Gekkeikan is “Quality First.” This encompasses our intention to not limit our activities to producing high-grade sake, but also to ensure customer satisfaction at all times and to offer our products at competitive prices. This principle has been highly acclaimed, and we are convinced that it was instrumental in allowing us to be awarded Gold medals for both Tokusen and Tsuki Genshu, and for Tokusen to be selected in the Great Value Sake category. Guided by this principle, we will continue to fulfill our commitment to brew quality sake.
The IWC (headquarters based in London, UK) was established in 1984 and is known as the world's largest wine tasting competition. The Sake Competition was instituted in addition to the Wine Competition in 2007, and was held for the 12th time this year. IWC judging follows a very strict process and is fairly carried out by Masters of Wine (highest wine qualification) proprietors, sommeliers, buyers, writers, and other representatives of the industry.
The 2018 Sake Competition was judged by 59 individuals from 15 countries across nine categories (Futsu-shu, Honjozo, Junmai, Junmai Ginjo, Ginjo, Daiginjo, Koshu, and Sparkling). Gold, Silver, and Bronze medals were awarded in each category, as well as Commended awards. Trophies were also awarded to the best sakes among the Gold medal winners, with the Champion Sake*1 selected from the trophy winners. The Great Value Sake was presented to the sake with the best cost performance (at least 10,000 bottles in 720ml units produced at a retail price of JPY 1,000 or less) among the Gold and Silver medal winners, with the Great Value Award*2 given as the top award.
The competition received the highest ever number of entries, with 456 companies submitting 1,639 brands, of which 97 received Gold medals and three received Great Value Sake awards.
*1, *2 The Champion Sake Award and the Great Value Award will be announced at the IWC award ceremony in London on July 10.