Wed 1 Sep 2010
Two days late …. sorry, but a good way to launch a new month.
And not actually wine but sparkling cider, and boy is this incredibly pleasant stuff. And it’s nothing like the “sparkling cider” you see in the grocery stores, which is apple juice injected with bubbles.
Duché de Longueville, located in Anneville-sur-Scie in Normandy, where they know something about raising apples, was founded as a distillery in 1925 but in 1950 switched to naturally-made sparkling cider. This is the only — what would the word be? — cidriere? in the world that makes — are you ready? — single-orchard, single-variety sparkling cider. The example that I’m sipping at this moment is made from the Muscadet de Dieppe apple and is a Cidre Bouché de Cru, that is, a cider bottled with a champagne-style cork. It emits a satisfying little pfft when the cork is released.
The color is radiant gold with a tinge of brass. Bubbles are mildly effervescent and form a bit of a frothy head. The stuff smells and tastes like apples: pure, intense, platonically apple-like, a little spicy, a little nutty, even, and with tart acidity and, on the finish, a powerful element of apple skin earthiness and bitterness. The cider is a touch sweet on the entry but from mid-palate through the finish registers as bone-dry. The alcohol content is 2 percent, so the intoxicating factor is almost imaginary. Wonderfully refreshing. Very Good+. I paid $10, which seems to be the price throughout the country.
A Christopher Cannon Selection for Europvin USA, Van Nuys, Cal.