Sunday, 14 October 2012
Le Brun Cidre Fermier (Demi Sec)
OK, I have a wee bit of a confession to make about this cidre (which, by the way is the last of the French cidre for now). I didn't buy it. I was given it. It was bought from the cider producer directly too - which I suspect is going to come through in the review. Not only that, but the people who bought it for me had done some 'research' beforehand and had good things to say.
I guess this will serve as a comparison to the cidre that I have tried here recently. The question is this - if you are visiting a non cidre producing region of France do you make a stop in Northern France to stock up (assuming you must have good cidre) or is it OK to wait until you have arrived and then hope that some of the good stuff has made its way to wherever you are? Going by the reviews so far, I would answer this by saying by all means wait, but be careful with your selection. I shall see whether this cidre changes my mind...
On the nose this is a Normandy cidre. It smells similar to the others. I would actually say it smells less than the others too - despite it having a good level of carbonation. What I do notice though is that its not crystal clear in the glass. High carbonation, golden and lovely, but ever not quite bright. I did notice a little sediment at the bottom of the bottle before opening and this must have been kicked up at the opening fizz. A good sign that it hasn't 'just' been filtered and engineered to a Normandy style.
I have to say, I refuse to compare this to much of what I tried last week! The level of tannin is up slightly and there is sooo much more body to this - its really an excellent cidre. Sure, its on the sweet side and the juicy-ness comes through rather a lot - but this is un-fermented juice, not added post fermentation. Why am I sure of this? Well, I guess I cannot be 100% but everything about this cidre seems genuinely cidre fermier.
In terms of balance, this has plenty of character. The tannin is harsher than normal (though its by no means too drying) and the acid is good and pulls the tannin and fruit together.
It is worth making the point that not all Normandy cidre is equal! I have berated the French for locking producers in a given region down to style and even varieties. However, this stuff simply proves that it can be done at a very high quality. It is truly a delight to drink!
The aftertaste is somewhat short, though there is a nice fading tannin and good acid going on still. Trouble is, I then have to have another gulp (drinking good cider really is such a bind:-)
A lovely way to finish the latest crop of French cidre and a silver apple for Le Brun with 82 points. I think cider producing ought to become an Olympic sport:-)