Wednesday 8 June 2011
Le Grand Ameray Cidre Pay's d'Auge
This is the first French cider that has the 'Appellation Controllee' - the mark that the cidre conforms to the regional standards and restrictions as a cidre. In my humble opinion, this is both a good and bad thing. It is good in that the cidre is tested to ensure it meets a standard (although I also understand that some 'adjust' cidres post testing). It also has the effect of controlling production and limiting the ability to play and explore.
The idea of a regional protection is being explored around the UK too, and the main cider counties all try to ensure that they are the only ones who can call a cider by a certain name. Having said this, in the UK it seems to be more about protecting the name as opposed to protecting a style of cider or method of production. Not sure if we have missed a trick there - but with all things like this, there are always benefits and pay off's.
This is a pretty good cidre though. It is hazy and golden, with a layer of sediment nicely at the bottom. It has a smokey smell too, which suggests it is an aged cider as opposed to new. However it tastes very juicy, as if it has been back blended with apple juice. To go along with this, it is also very sweet indeed. This is the main characteristic that lasts and dominates the aftertaste. Its almost a 'doux'.... let me explain that! French cider comes in several forms. A 'brut' is a cidre of about 5% and is the main style of cider, wheras a 'doux' is a weaker, less fermented version which is much sweeter. Don't make the same mistake as I did by thinking it was a second pressing. If you do, you are in for a shock!
Its not a bad cidre, but with a score of 65/100, the sweetness let it down for me. If you like sweet ciders, you will certainly score it higher.