Beverage of the Week (BOW)
Christian Drouin Cidre Brut (France)
This beautiful and complex cider is made with a blend of 30 different apple varieties. The blend is comprised of 70% bittersweet and bitter apples, 20% sweet apples, and 10% acidic apples. The apples are carefully crushed and then pressed to extract the juice. The juice is quickly sent to the fermenters where it is allowed to ferment very slowly over a period of three months. When fermentation is complete the cider is bottled and then bottle-conditioned, meaning that it goes through a small secondary fermentation in the bottle that provides the pleasing small bubbles.
Christian Drouin Sr. bought a quaint country house set amongst orchards in Gonneville in the heart of Calvados Pays d'Auge in Normandy, France. He soon discovered that the price he could obtain for the apples he harvested would barely cover the cost of the harvest. His friend had a mobile still and advised on how to press the apples into cider and distill the cider into Brandy. Drouin Sr. had no previous experience but he did have good taste and had a great appreciation for quality wine and spirits. This, too, was his guide. The younger Christian Drouin is said to have contracted the Calvados virus from his father. While the stocks of incredible Calvados grew vintage after vintage, Christian knew that he must grow the reputation of Calvados and find customers for the great Brandy first in France and then the world. He succeeded. When I first met Christian Drouin well more than a decade ago he transmitted the Calvados appreciation virus to me and I've never been the same.
Deep golden color with a semi-hazy appearance. The nose offers a wonderful mélange of apple varieties some being fruity while others more austere mingling with earthy notes. The palate echoes the nose delivering an incredibly complex blend of both sweet and tart apple notes with subtle citrus and mineral notes finishing with a subtle smoked meat accent. Medium-bodied with a very bright dose of acidity as it drinks with ease being quite refreshing.
How to Serve
Drink chilled in a white wine glass. It's very refreshing on its own but it pairs well with any seafood or fowl and is terrific with Camembert de Normandie or a Pont l'Evêque.
Price: $ 10