Sunday 27 January 2013

Cornish Orchards Heritage Cider

More cider from the company that won the 2012 CAMRA Champion Cider competition. This time a ‘Heritage’ cider. There are several things I like about the label – aside from its professional look. The phrase ‘Taste the Nature’ is interesting, but a bit too supermarket for me. However, I do like that it is made using 100% fresh pressed juice and using traditional cider making practices. Of course, neither of these statements rule out the possibility that this is not full juice. Sadly, I think that designing text to describe a full juice product is nigh on impossible these days. Full juice itself is not abuse free… although an ingredients list would always help considerably!

So, what apples have gone in to this cider then? Well, it suggests heritage varieties… Cornish Langstem, of which I know very little about, and Grenadier. Hang on… Grenadier is a cooking apple. Admittedly I believe it’s a more fragrant and gentle cooker than Bramley, but it is still the same type. So is this going to be a sharp cider then? Grenadier is a funny apple to work with. It harvests July to August, so is one of the very first apples to ripen. And with that it is a terrible keeper too. A couple of weeks off the tree and it will rot. Mind you, I am not averse to using a little Grenadier in my cider, so I shall not knock Cornish Orchards for it.

At 5%, its around about right for a cider – especially one using early fruit. And on opening it has a gentle, bitter sweet aroma with plenty of fruit going on too. Light and yet also interesting. It does look as though it has received the business though – it pours out clear and fizzy, so filtered and carbonated then. It is also a lovely deep golden colour.

The taste is wonderful. It holds the gentle bittersweet flavour, but with a reasonable amount of acidity too. The fruitiness is still there, albeit everything is a little lighter than it would be without filtering. Although it doesn’t say anything on the bottle, I would suggest that this might be a dry cider, although the tannin is not drying at all, so I have marked it as a medium dry.  The aftertaste is pretty short, although the balance of acid and tannin lingers.

On the whole this is an enjoyable cider and worth tracking down. I do find it a little absent, which isn’t to do with the cider itself, but the filtering which seems to have been overdone a fair bit. Mind you, it has fruit a plenty and all the characteristics of a South Western style of cider – not as heavy as the three counties cider, but still using cider fruit for tannin and body.

It scores a healthy 77/100 and earns Cornish Orchards a bronze apple from me.

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