Saturday 3 August 2013
Dunkerton's Court Royal Cider
Another interesting cider this time - and it was a close call as to which got the '300th' status. Not that it matters a whole lot of jelly beans to be honest. I have been looking forward to both but was determined to save them until after the Strongbow review (in case it went really badly:-)
I have also marked this review as Cider101. Court Royal is an apple that I haven't come across before - ever. It is also, by the looks of it, an apple that I am unlikely to come across. So in that regard it may be a bit of a pointless cider to include in my list of 'apple types'. However, as one never knows - it is in.
One note about the label. I love it! Dark and brooding, it rather gives it all away on the back with, "We offer this rare cider for your consideration." Very polite and very well taken too. I think Dunkerton's are a company that are really sure about how they present themselves... and it is nice that this company has so often backed up that style with first rate drinks too!
Court Royal apple is a sweet apple. This means it should be low in both tannin and acid, but ought to be a naturally sweeter drink (assuming all the sugar doesn't ferment out). As a medium dry cider, I am hoping that this Dunkerton's is such an example. I can see, from a brielf search online, that it is regarded as both early and late harvesting. I am inclined to go with late as it is in a description from a nursery - but then you never know. Actually, looking at a search listing, perhaps it isn't so rare as I thought. However, I note on the back of the label for the cider it says that it crops irregularly. This could mean that it is biennial (crops one out of every two years) or that it is unreliable...
On with the review. This cider is rather light golden in colour and has a spritz about it - a light sparkle as it enters the glass that is quite persistent but low. It is bright, which I have come to expect from Dunkerton's. There is also a very interesting smell to it - I have smelled it before in a cider made from Le Brets (another 'sweet' classed apple). I am not expecting big tannin or acid from this - and this smell confirms it. I guess you could say that it is clean and a little one dimensional (aren't all SV ciders to a larger or lesser degree?). There is a faint fruitiness coming off it in the nose too.
Moving on to taste - Oh. Wow. This is a very light and delicate cider indeed, and Dunkerton's would seem to have really captured its character in here! I can see I am going to have to take my time with this cider. This is one of those drinks that you have to appreciate to get all of its sense. There are some faint tannins here, which funnily fit with everything else going on, but actually make it quite drying towards the end.
So, this cider is light and yet full bodies. The fruit is the foremost component - which is great - and the tannin plays second fiddle all the way; merely performing it's role and nothing more. There is very little acid if any I can sense. I have to say I disagree with the medium dry - it is a dry... well, at least at the end it is.
There is a really good, long aftertaste which again is all fruit. I am getting a touch of sweetness on the tongue though, it all but vanishes behind the fruit - but perhaps there is the medium dry bit:-)
I love this - it is an excellent cider and I shall be looking out for Court Royal in future! A score of 89/100 just sees it shy of a gold apple... which is a bit of a shame really - but a really good silver apple to Dunkerton's.