HOKUTO, Yamanashi — Shichiken, a Japanese sake brand of Yamanashi Meijo Co., Ltd. (Hokuto-shi, Yamanashi Prefecture) has co-developed a new product called “Alain Ducasse Sparkling Sake” with world-renowned master chef Alain Ducasse in cooperation with the National Tax Agency of Japan.
Alain Ducasse Sparkling Sake was inspired by the Mediterranean Sea, Alain Ducasse’s terroir. Gérard Margeon, Chef Sommelier at Ducasse Paris, was strongly inspired to combine the spirituality of the Mediterranean with that of Yamanashi. After receiving flavor direction from Mr. Margeon and exchanging various opinions, Senior Managing Director and Master brewer of Yamanashi Meijo, Ryogo Kitahara adopted Kijoshu*, which is a luxurious sake, in combination with the same secondary in-bottle fermentation process as champagne and developed a very rare sparkling sake that is matured in cherry barrels. This unprecedented and groundbreaking process is the first of its kind in the world and has resulted in a unique flavor.
With the water of Yamanashi and the inspiration of the Mediterranean as its cornerstones, this is a new world of sake worthy of a gorgeous toast. A bouquet of white cherries emanates from the juicy burst of the bubbles, bringing sweet and slightly bitter waves from maturation in barrels, and leading to a calm and pleasant finish.
Starting in late April at “Beige Alain Ducasse Tokyo” (Ginza), which has been listed as a two-star restaurant in the Michelin Guide Tokyo since 2016, Alain Ducasse Sparkling Sake will be served at Ducasse Paris restaurants around the world. It will also be available for sale to the general public in Japan on the online shopping site of Shichiken from April 29.
With the philosophy of “brewing sake in harmony with the pristine waters of Hakushu,” Shichiken pursues the perfect balance of elegance and intricacy, the perfect balance of refreshingly pure water and umami-rich rice. Through Alain Ducasse Sparkling Sake, Shichiken aims to serve as a catalyst in transforming the culture of sake.
*Typically, sake is made with water, rice and yeast, but Kijoshu is a very luxurious sake brewed partially using sake instead of water in the final stage of production. It is a high-grade sake with an exceptionally rich taste.
New product promotion video:
Product name: Alain Ducasse Sparkling Sake
Price: 5,000 yen (excluding tax)
Sales channel: Shichiken online store (from April 29)
Isetan Shinjuku Store (Tokyo), etc.
Profile of the new product developer of the Japan-France collaboration
Born in the Landes, Alain Ducasse is at the helm of approximately thirty restaurants, from authentic bistros to three-Michelin-star restaurants, disseminated throughout eleven countries. He founded Les Collectionneurs, a network of almost five hundred independent restaurants and hotels in Europe. Passionate by knowledge transmission, he created an editing company specialized in cooking art (Ducasse Edition) as well as cooking and pastry schools (Ducasse Education) which are today developed with a partner, Sommet Education. He is now expanding the Manufacture de chocolat (Paris, London, Tokyo) and the Manufacture de café (Paris, London).
He is an advocate of an environmentally aware cuisine and of a farmers’ agriculture which takes care of eaters’ health and respects the Planet. He therefore established the Collège culinaire de France (France Culinary College) where cooks and producers meet and exchange. In the same vein, he created a gastronomic interpretation of this eco-friendly cuisine, the Naturalité, and an accessible version, to be delivered or picked-up, the Naturaliste.
Gérard MARGEON, Ducasse Paris Executive Chef Sommelier
Born in Beaune in 1961 (a great year for wines!). He joined the Miramar in Biarritz and, later on, exercised his talent at Méridien Montparnasse in Paris. His encounter with Alain Ducasse, in 1993, drove him to Le Louis XV in Monaco where he became chef sommelier. He was then appointed first chef sommelier at Alain Ducasse au Plaza Athénée’s restaurant. In 2000, he is in charge of the entire sommellerie of Alain Ducasse’s restaurants. Juggling with more than 5,000 references, he creates all the wine-lists of these restaurants.
Ryogo Kitahara, Senior Managing Director and Master brewer of Yamanashi Meijo
Born in 1984 as the second son of a sake brewer. After graduating from Tokyo University of Agriculture, he studied brewing in the U.S. and returned to the brewery in 2008 and was appointed as the master brewer in 2014. He was awarded the Diner’s Club Young Brewer’s Encouragement Award for the best young brewer at the SAKE COMPETITION 2017 to determine the best commercial sake in Japan.
Company name: Yamanashi Meijo Co., Ltd.
Location: 2283 Daigahara, Hakushu-cho, Hokuto-shi, Yamanashi Prefecture, Japan
Representative: Tsushima Kitahara, CEO
Yamanashi Meijo New Product Press Conference
Public Relations: Tomoko Takiguchi