Thursday, 6 June 2013

Lost Pippin - Sparkling

Now straight off the bat, this cider which comes to us from the beautiful Huon Valley has a great story behind it. Lost Pippin is currently part of a non profit organisation called Oak Tasmania. Oak Tasmania is a social enterprise which trains and employs over 150 Tasmanians living with disabilities. The absolute fantastic thing is the ciders themselves were made with the help of the Oak Tasmania participants. In a recent article, the Cider Maker and soon to be owner of Lost Pippin Mark Robertson stated that work such as pruning, packing and bottling was all carried out with the help of people living with a disability. I just think this story is sensational, and it’s a real credit to all involved.
Lost Pippin itself is located at the former Grove Demonstration and Research Centre in the Huon Valley. It is here where Australia’s largest collection of heritage apples and pears, and cider apples call home, with many of the varieties not commercially available anymore. The cider side of things for Lost Pippin is only on a smaller scale in their eyes (is 20,000L’s small scale?), but plans are already in place to establish a cidery and cellar door (like Spreyton Cider Co). I’ve also heard of whispers of a potential ‘cider trail’ in Tasmania which stretches from the North of the state to the South. Cooooool!! But I am convinced that the Huon Valley is fast becoming one of the several cider capitals in Australia. 

The ciders which make up the Lost Pippin portfolio consist of a still, a sparkling and perry. The ciders are also made from the fruit harvested off the heritage orchard. Today, I’ll be focusing on the sparkling which is made using the more modern apple varieties.
So on pouring, the cider was very light in colour and for a ‘sparkling’, I was quite perplexed. Where were the bubbles?? There was almost no carbonation, besides a tiny spritz in the glass. I know many producers are still trying to get their carbonation levels right, so maybe this is another one of those cases? Trial and error? Not sure, but I was quite surprised. The nose was quite pretty, sweet and very floral. Lovely fresh ripe apples notes, along with apple skin, musk, rich pineapples and rose burst out the glass. It was very crisp and tight, but very straight forward in primary aromas.

The palate offered up nice off dry sweetness, with steely acidity giving the mouthful a gob full of tartness. The acid structure was very tart, sour and very unforgiving – very malic acidish. Possibly too much maybe, as my teeth where crying out in protest. There were some nice fresh apple flavours and also a tiny bit of tannin grip to lift the texture. But the palate was just a little weak in flavour profile and intensity, and again I couldn’t help pass a watered down character on the back palate. Cider doesn’t like too much water added!! There was also just enough fizz on the palate to consider it a sparkling too. Overall it was quite a one dimensional palate, which possibly was out of balance with the tooth destroying acidity.
This cider was fresh, simple, very straight forward and very typical of the many ciders we see in Australia. Basically it’s as easy as cider gets. If acid is not an issue, the sessionability of this cider is through the roof. It's very clean and fresh, but also refreshing. Solid cider made in conjunction with a great cause.

Oak Tasmania:

Producer: Oak Tasmania (Lost Pippin)
Country: Australia (Huon Valley, Tasmania)
Alcohol: 4.9%

Rating: 12 out of 20 (check out the 'AAC Features' tab for the new scoring system)

1 comment:

  1. I alwayslike to drink to a good cause. Good review. Do you wonder with the cider so acidic, that a proper food pairing would subdue the acidity and raise the pleasure ability a bit?