I write from a cozy desk spot on a rainy Labor Day. I’m grateful to have today for rest and even more grateful to those who labor to keep things functioning today and everyday. This time of year, that especially means orchard and farm workers. Thank you!
Today, my review features Dragon’s Head Cider’s Rosé. This cider was part of a Northwest Cider Club Shipment. I love being able to purchase curated selections of ciders not usually available to me in remote upstate New York. You can learn more about the Northwest Cider club here: https://nwciderclub.com/
Dragon’s Head Cider comes to us from Vashon, Washington. Vashion is an island with an orchard off the coast of Washington state.
Here’s how Dragon’s Head Cider introduces their process and philosophy of cider making.
From apple to bottle, all right here on our farm.
At Dragon’s Head Cider, we take a traditional approach to cider making. Our focus is on the apple varieties that we use and the quality of the fruit. We love the story that apples alone can tell through cider, altering the flavor by changing the blend of apple varieties that we carefully select. The process is simple and the ingredients list is short. Perhaps we’re a little old fashioned.
You can read the rest of the process and learn about all of Dragon’s Head cider on the website: http://www.dragonsheadcider.com/
I don’t have many previous review of Dragon’s Head ciders, because I haven’t gotten to taste them nearly as often as I’d like. Here are all of the cidery’s earlier appearances on the blog.
Wild Fermented (#1 cider of 2019!): http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2019/04/cider-review-dragons-head-wild.html
In 2018, Dragon’s Head appears in my coverage of CiderCon: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2018/02/cidercon-part-2-including-heritage.html
Here’s the official description of Dragons Head Rosé:
Our Rosé Cider is created from a unique blend of red fleshed apple varieties, including Redfield apples from our own orchard. Unlike typical apple trees, in the Spring, the blossoms on the Redfield trees are bright pink, the leaves are a reddish bronze, and amazingly the flesh of these beautiful apples is red. When the apples are pressed the juice is a crimson color that lightens and clears into the blush rosé that you see in the bottle. Bright and fruity, this cider is certainly unique for its color but also delicious in flavor.
Appearance: Brilliant, Bubbly, Copper Red
What a beautiful cider. I totally understand why the Rosé cider is bottled in clear glass. The coppery red color is too inviting not to share! The cider is brilliant and bubbly as well. What a visual invitation.
Aroma: Mineral notes, Cranberry, Grapefruit, Black Pepper
The first scents that unfold are mineral notes followed by cranberry, grapefruit and pepper. I know some folks question minerality, but I don’t know exactly how to put it when sniffing a cider makes me think about rocks. The cider’s aromas make my mouth water.
Dragon’s Head Cider’s Rosé cider is dry. I’ll not call it bone dry, but it’s close.
Flavors and drinking experience: High acidity, high tannins, peach, floral finish
The Dragon’s Head Rosé cider has high but not extreme acidity. It makes a wonderful first impression of fruity and zinginess. That’s immediately followed by medium high tannins that ground and anchor the cider. I loved the floral finish with bits of peach. It’s a deeply enjoyable cider. The texture is defined by very fine bubbles.
Upon second and third sips, I started to notice a gentle caramel note beneath the brightness. The fruitiness gets more definitively peach, cranberry with a bit of a spicy green pepper note at the end. The cider has a thin light body that is kept angular by the acidity. It's a stimulating cider that’s tremendously inviting for food. Dragon’s Head Cider’s Rosé is just so good!
I paired this with a roasted chickpea, tomato, feta salad. Highly recommended!