Saturday, 30 June 2012

Gwynt Y Ddraig – Dabinett

Gwynt Y Ddraig – Dabinett
Ahhhh! That’s how this review is going to begin. It’s not everyday a complex, authentic and completely addictive farmhouse cider comes along and leaves an immediate imprint on your brain. This baby is from Wales, Pontypridd to be exact and it’s without doubt one of the better ciders I’ve come across. Welsh ciders are almost completely unknown here in Australia which is a real shame. Many producers travel east over the boarder into England to source the fruit for their ciders. But the majority of the fruit for Gwynt Y Ddraig comes from the Welsh orchards giving real authenticity. Wales has a thriving cider industry of small craft cider producers and hold events like the Welsh Perry and Cider Festival and the Welsh Cider and Cheese Festival.  

This cider is a single varietal, with Dabinett playing the lead role. Dabinett (pictured below) is a heritage English variety which falls under the bittersweet category of cider apples. If the fruit and resulting ciders made from dabinett are considered good quality, they are most certainly made into single variety offerings. As many varieties need qualities of others to make a final blend, eg bittersweets with sharps etc. I have this variety in my orchard!

The cider itself, as I’ve said, is top quality gear. It has a nice light fizz and is filtered to a beautiful golden orange brilliance. Where do I start on the nose? Beautiful floral and freshly picked apple characters, with hints of melon are complexed with small amounts of brett from the oak age. The cider also has tiny notes of volatile acidity which is in no way offensive but carries the farmhouse style. There's also a touch of sulphur which does blow off. This is a super complex nose which had me intrigued from the word go, as there are so many things going on.
Palate wise the bittersweet apples offer a real nice balance of the medium sweetness and acidity which gives a crisp finish. The tannins finish soft with a slight hint of bitterness on the back palate. Obvious characters of apple, honey and stewed apricots linger on the palate of this full bodied cider.

Yowzers, this cider was yum. This is a true ridgy didge Welsh cider and it did not disappoint one bit. It was super complex and it kept you coming back for more. I strongly urge any keen cider enthusiast to go out and grab one. I will be reviewing another Gywnt Y Ddraig cider in the very near future and I can’t wait! I look forward to sharing that with you all!

Producer: Gywnt Y Ddraig – The Welsh Cider and Perry Company
Country: Wales
Alcohol: 6%

Rating: 9 out of 10

Lechyd da! (Cheers! in Welsh)

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