Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Cider Review: Du Minot Cidrerie's La Bolee Petillante and GLINTCAP

My first cider review of something by Du Minot. I've only had their ciders before once or twice with local friends who brought them back from Quebec. I've never had the chance to review one.

Lots of information on the Du Minot website, which helpfully can be accessed in either french or English. Though it, I learned that Du Minot has been operating out of Quebec since 1987. That's quite an achievement as the cider world did not have lot of support then and has gone through more than its share of ups and downs since that time.

This family business has a most interesting background. I'll let their words tell the story.

From Brittany to Quebec, the Demoy family has been making cider for almost 150 years. Cider enthusiasts, Robert and JoĆ«lle Demoy left their native Britanny in the late 1970s to settle in Quebec and set up Cidrerie du Minot in Hemmingford in 1987.  Over the years, the couple shared their passion with their children Audrenne and Alan who are now ensuring succession. 
Inspired by traditional Breton techniques, Cidrerie du Minot has been producing high quality ciders for over 30 years and collected national and international recognitions. Today, it is with ultra-modern equipments that Cidrerie du Minot develops more than a dozen ciders

This cider was a gift from my friend Eric West of Cider Guide (https://ciderguide.com/) who will be working on GLINTCAP this week, but more on that at the end of the post. I'll also be managing his newsletter this week and next week, so wish me luck!

The Du Minot website helpfully has information on their ciders in both French and English: http://www.duminot.com/fr/cidres/

Today's cider is their La Bolee Petillante which is sold in an adorable small single-serve bottle with nice transparent modern labelling.  This cider has a quite low ABV at 4.5%; that  helped me decide to reach for it on a rainy spring afternoon. I like having options of radically different ABVs in my cellar.

The official description of the cider follows:

Ripe apples are picked, crushed and gently pressed. The must is fermented at low temperatures to preserve all the aromas. Finally, a second fermentation in sealed tanks provides the natural effervescence that is unique to this type of sparkling cider. 
This sparkling cider at 4.5% alc./vol. with delicate aromas of apples and pears is refreshing on the palate. It has a pleasant acidity and fine bubbles, giving it all its elegance.
The apple in this cider are McIntosh, Cortland, Empire, Spartan.

Appearance: Brilliant,  few visible bubbles, straw color 

The color is just a hint warmer and more apricot than most ciders that I'd call straw, but its a subtle distinction.

Aromas: bready, sweet, cooked apple

Smelled from the neck of the bottle is restrictive but smells pleasantly sweetly bready. It actually reminds me of the aromas of Doc's Draft Original. When poured out of that container into a more open glass, a creaminess joins the aromas. There's some soft apple in the mix as well.

Sweetness/dryness: sweet

This a sweet cider, but something about the sweetness strikes me as different. This is a very nectar-like sweetness that's thick and rich.

Flavors and drinking experience: juicy,caramel, rich, mellow, fruity

I'd like to start by mentioning that this cider doesn't fit into the usual categories and styles I am most familiar with. It's different! This does have some of the qualities of a Bretagne cider, but it isn't just an example of that. This cider has its own style.

The cider offers up medium high acid with a nice zing of bubbles. Part of what makes this so unique is that combination of rich intense fruitiness with notably clean fermentation. Let me say it again and again- this cider offers up lots of apple in aroma and flavor. One of the other standout characteristics is the very thick mouthfeel. 

Its mellow, rich, slightly oxidized. Its remarkably tasty. I'm not often a real fan of sweet ciders, but this is special. Even so, I'd still probably not reach for a cider like this often. The rich mouthfeel is intense, and my preference do run more towards the austere and dry. 

Have this cider with something light and sweet. I'd recommend it with a panna cotta, homemade poundcake, or even on its own. Its a magical experience.

There's something else cider-tastic on my mind this week. That's because the 12th Annual Great Lakes International Cider and Perry Competition (GLINTCAP) will be happening from April 19-22, 2017 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For the past three year's I've judged and had a simply fantastic time. Unfortunately, the timing didn't work out this year, but I know I'll have GLINTCAP on my mind this week. 

Here's coverage of previous years. 

The lead up to my first GLINTCAP: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2014/03/driving-out-for-glintcap-judgingand.html

GLINTCAP 2014 the full experience: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2014/04/finally-my-fabulous-time-at-glintcap.html

2015 GLINTCAP results and my Magner's Original review: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2015/04/cider-review-magners-irish-cider-plus.html 

And most recently, GLINTCAP 2016: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2016/04/my-experience-at-glintcap-2016-worlds.html

Best of luck to all competitors and judges!