Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Cidrerie d'Anneville - Cidre Doux Binet Rouge

Cidrerie d’Anneville – Cidre Doux Binet Rouge
This cidre which comes to us from Normandy in France is somewhat a regular on Australian bottle shop shelves. You don’t have to look hard and you’ll find the Cidrerie d’Anneville products sitting there patiently waiting to be picked up and taken home. Both the single varietal and brut cidre’s from d’Anneville are great little offerings, which have all the goodies associated with a Norman cidre. I just love seeing “pur jus” and “prise de mousse naturelle”, which loosely translates to “pure juice” and “natural foam (carbonation) in the bottle”. You just know the cidre is authentic and unadulterated when you see these phrases, and that’s the way it should be.

The term ‘doux’, is a French word basically meaning sweet. The sugar level which falls in the doux range is roughly above 50g/L, which is nice and sweet! So to give you another French lesson, Cidre Doux is basically Sweet Cider. This falls hand in hand with the 2% alcohol as well, with high natural sweetness resulting in low yielding alcohol. Binet Rouge is also another big scary French word on the label. This is the apple variety used, and is a common addition to many Normandy cidre’s. It’s characterised by being bittersweet, and often being used in the production of Calvados. 
The cidre is ever so slightly cloudy with a beautiful golden orange tinge. The natural carbonation is nice and soft, and almost resembles foam in the glass. The cidre just pours and looks great in the glass without even touching it. The nose reminds me of a party where everyone is invited, but were also told to bring their rowdy mates along. Delicious fresh pineapple and fruity pear notes instantly hit you. It’s like sticking your honker into a fruit bowl on the kitchen table. Secondary characters of apple peel and oranges continued to excite my interest, which were then followed by tertiary notes of woody brett, and earthy mould. The best way I can describe this nose is by walking into a huge apple cold store, and being hit by fresh apple characters with trailing musty notes. It’s a nose which also reminds me of summer. Perfection in a nose!!

Palate wise, the initial upfront sweetness takes you by surprise even though you know it’s going to be sweet. The sweetness reminds me of exactly what the label says – pure juice. The thick sweet apple characters linger for eternity, and are then intruded by a tidal wave of bitterness on the back palate. Lovely honey, earth and malty characters tie in really well to the overall palate dynamic. Being bittersweet, the Binet Rouge variety offers little to no tannin structure, which is a strange absence in French cidre. The acid structure, which resembles a malic/citric combo, is very sherbety and balances out the sweetness. A real fascinating thing I found with this cidre is the sweetness is not at all sickly or cloying. It’s a sweetness which is addictive, super refreshing and never gets full on. Many sweeter ciders I have tried get too sickly, but this example is a completely different story. This is a really complex palate, which takes advantage of the stunning keeved juice.

To the more experienced cider drinker, this product may come across as lolly water being so sweet. If so, the brut (dry), blended alternative is a better option which is a decent drop too. The Binet Rouge is a really fascinating cidre, with a lot of complexity and individuality. It’s a perfect cidre to match with food and can be served as an aperitif. As mentioned, it’s readily available in Australia, and is quite cheap too. But I strongly urge anyone to grab it, and give it a red hot go. Really good gear.

Producer: Cidrerie d’Anneville
Country: France (Normandy)
Alcohol: 2%

Rating: 8 out 10


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