Tuesday 14 May 2013
Rich's Cider - Golden Years Vintage Cider 2011 Dunkerton's
The name of these Rich's ciders really does take some getting used to!! If I had an award for length of name then they would be right up there with the longest of them:-)
This one is a single variety - and I confess it confused me somewhat (you see, Dunkerton's are a cider maker, not an apple). Having asked at the counter I am reliably informed that this apple isn't anything to do really with the Dunkerton's - although I believe the apples used in this cider came from Dunkerton's... or something like that! I think it is fair to say that its a variety that I am unlikely to work with... assuming that it is only found at Dunkerton's.
A bit of Googling reveals that I am still a little confuddled. It is a commercial apple raised around the 1940's in Somerset and is classed as a 'sweet' variety, with harvesting mid November (which makes it a good blender for the main bulk bittersweets and sharps. One source says that it is quite widely planted - so one day I could indeed have a go with it. I do notice that on one tree selling site it mentions that it produces a "light, sweet, fruity cider". No. It doesn't. Not unless you stop it with some sugar left it doesn't. Ashridge Tree's say that it produces a good cider on its own "almost vintage quality". I like the sound of that!
The bottle describes the cider as medium bodied and sparkling. So lets get going with that in mind then. At pouring it is a very highly polished, filtered cider that is light golden and bright. Don't get me wrong, I like brilliant bright golden cider - it does look attractive. However, cider isn't a brilliant bright golden thing. It can be a clear and golden without the extra little polish and still be a beautiful thing!
It is a lightly fizzy drink that persists during the whole experience. On the nose it has an incredible flowery smell - tangy even. It has a bit of a tannic smell too, although this comes across as light too.
The taste matches the smell in that it is light in tannin with a good level of fruitiness with tangy flowery notes. It also seems very polished and I am sure it is not firing on all guns as a result. It is very nice though - a delicate cider that has a minutae of acid to match the rest of the flavour.
The aftertaste is long and quite drying - the tannin is clearly more than it seems. In all, this is quite a potent cider apple - albeit a very gentle one. I like it a lot; it is distinctive whilst requiring the time to consider it properly and appreciate its complexity.
It scores 88/100 and a good silver apple goes to Rich's. Nicely done!