Hello from a pilgrim on a journey to try as many different ciders as possible; enjoy them, write about them and see how many really fine ciders there are.
Friday, 19 July 2013
Ty Gwyn Medium Dry Cider
The Welsh have done pretty well this year for awards. Not that they are afraid to shout it from the roof-tops! Mind you, why not - just 'cos us English are more restrained - having half my family from Wales I can safely say that the Welsh like to wear their hearts on their sleeves more:-)
Taken from the bottle, Ty Gwyn simply means Whitehouse in Welsh. The cider is made at Whitehouse Farm in Monmouthshire - the county that is probably the heart of Welsh cider land. To be fair, Monmouthshire and Herefordshire must be fairly interchangeable. Seeing as Herefordshire is a mecca for growing cider apples, I suspect that a lot of fruit for Welsh ciders comes from there - and visa versa could well be true. After all, its not where the fruit comes from that matters - it's what you do with it (and as someone who is not particularly patriotic, its the quality that counts - not how you pronounce it!)
This particular cider is actually a single variety. Vilberie is a late bittersweet apple ripening in November, which makes it one of the last varieties to be pressed. I suspect this should make it quite astringent and full bodied. However, it isn't an apple that I have used or come across before - hence chucking the review into Cider101 as well (for future reference:-)
It is a mid golden colour, polished and bright. I hope they haven't stripped out too much flavour for that look. It is also a still cider (with a small 'pfss' on opening). The smell is very fruity - rhubarb and strawberries and maybe even banana. It is quite distinctive. I cannot tell if there is much tannin from the smell, but I would say it's going to be full bodied.
It is actually quite a drying taste - especially as it is meant to be a medium dry. I can taste a bit of sweetness to it though - so for sure Vilberie is big on tannin. I am getting quite a bit of acid too - which is odd for a bitter sweet. It balances the tannin a touch - between the sweet, tannin and acid this makes for a really nice cider... no wonder they don't pitch it as a single variety.
Whether this has been mucked about with is a mute point (I will look out for another Vilberie cider to compare it with). It is really rather moreish. The apple taste is full and rounded, with tannin and acid running underneath it. The aftertaste is medium to long and is very good. I like!
A good silver apple with 86/100. If Vilberie is really this good I will be chasing it down this next season!
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On their website they're currently saying it's a blend - "of late harvested 'Vilberie' and 'Brown Snout' apples." We've got it on at the mo, from 20litre BIB, labelled at 7%; it is less bright than the bottled - slightly hazy, light coppery gold; still; smells interesting - unique? pleasant, distinctive aroma, redolent of (remind me to come back when I've decided, & have time)ReplyDelete
Taste; I get orchard fruits & a specific variety of crab-apple (wish I could recall name/type - sweetish, glossy, waxy red/yellow/pink/green, urn-shaped, elongated), a hint of apricot/peach & something elusive - almost pineapple. Initially sweet, smooth with mellow apple flavour, but bright with a little astringency; there's a suggestion of dryness; but it is rapidly subdued by a long slightly sweet finish. I didn't find it particularly high on tannins. Very drinkable, pretty good, a long complex tantalizing taste that's beautifully mellow; but with enough high points to be interesting, and frustratingly elusive to nail down. Certainly deserving its medal-winning status in my book.