I get a small but consistent number of requests for more coverage of international ciders here. That’s something I’m happy to do by opportunity, and I was thrilled to have the excuse to drink a very hyped Austrian sparkling apple wine recently. The name Reisetbauer is more associated with spirits, mostly Eau de Vie and Gin, than with cider. Some folks wouldn’t even allow the word cider here; they would insist on calling it Apfelwein or apple wine. I’m not ready to wade into such a debate, but since it’s fermented apple juice, its certainly something I find worth covering!
This is my first inclusion of anything by Reisetbauer. The company is associated with the distiller Hans Reisetbauer, based in Austria. The company was founded in 1994, but its predated by the orchards planted for it in 1990. The small company’s spirits consistently win awards.
You can visit the website here and learn more about the company’s distilled spirits: https://www.reisetbauer.at/
Here’s how the Reisetbauer website describes the Sparkling Apple Wine.
REISETBAUER SPARKLING APPLE WINE
The base for the sparkling wine is apple juice from the Kirchdorfergut of Hans Reisetbauer.
After producing the apple cider, it rests for 24 months on the yeast. This is the "Champagne Methode" or "Méthode traditionnelle". Instead of sugar, only the juice from the Jonagold apple is used for the "Dosage".
Because of its lower alcoholic volume of 7% the Reisetbauer sparkling apple wine is such a perfect summer drink and a high quality alternative to champagne.
"In the nose ripe apple notes, fine and elegant perlage. Fresh and spicy in the mouth, in the finish is the unique taste of the ripe Jonagold apple of the Kirchdorfergut."
Serve the Reisetbauer sparkling apple wine cool and in a big white wine glass.
And now for my notes!
Appearance: Brilliant, warm straw, medium intensity, few miniscule bubbles
This is a lovely cider. I can see just a few of the tiniest bubbles. The color is a classic shade of warm straw with medium intensity. It poured with a disappearing head like champagne.
Aromas: Dust, intense fruit notes, red grapes, cantaloupe, apricot,
The apple wine smells mostly of fruit, but there are mineral and dust notes floating around in the mix. The fruit notes come across intensely, almost as though they have been concentrated. I get aromas that remind me of red grapes, cantaloupe, and dried apricot.
This is completely dry. It’s fruity and has big flavors, but the flavors do not come from sweetness.
Flavors and drinking experience: white flowers, light honey, tannic, funky
I found the Apfelschaumwein Vom Kirchdorfergut tasted complex and stimulating without being too challenging. It opens with notes of white flowers and light ethereal honey. It wasn’t just gentleness; this cider has a bit of fusel oil funk to it too. One note of bitterness slightly recalls red pepper. The flavors are so savory. This is wonderful!
I love that this beverage brought me all of the strong bubbles I was hoping for based on what I saw when it poured. The mouthfeel was drying with just a bit of cotton mouth astringence. The cider completes its experience with a long, gentle apple finish.
I had this cider with some cheeses, homemade bread, and fruit shared with good friends. We enjoyed it all on my porch before the weather got too terribly warm. There’s not a lot I can imagine as more enjoyable than delightful company, good cider, and tasty cheese. This cider would work well with many pairings, but I don’t think you’d find a better one.