Saturday, 13 July 2013

Weidmann and Groh Apfelwein - Ciderhaus Part 2

Firstly, I must thank Elly and Coady Buckley from the Ciderhaus for again giving me the opportunity to taste more quality apfelwein. If you remember correctly, I recently reviewed three apfelwein’s which the Ciderhaus passionately import into Australia. My overall attitude towards the German ciders was very positive. I remember the apfelwein's having impressive clarity and structure with great fruit definition. If you want to read the first instalment of Ciderhaus apfelwein reviews, click here:

Well, I have been given the call up again - to put my cider reviewing hat on and appraise two additional apfelwein’s from producer Weidmann and Groh. You can read up on some background information on the producer in the link provided, along with the Bohnapfel review. But the two apfelwein’s which will be reviewed today are the Trierer Weinapfel and Speierling.   

Wiedmann and Groh – 2011 Trierer Weinapfel (halbtrocken)
This single varietal apfelwein is made using the popular Trierer Weinapfel, which is characterised by its higher tannins and acidity, with lower levels of sugar. The colour was a deep and dark gold, which was a direct result of maceration techniques used in the processing. Maceration on pomace is not overly traditional for apfelwein, but Weidmann and Groh use this to achieve a rich and dark colour, with more pronounced flavours. The apfelwein was also filtered clear, with only a very light level of carbonation.

The nose was one of the better noses I have come across in my experience as a cider reviewer. Beautiful and intense floral characters leaped out of the glass, followed by old oaky notes complimented by some farmyard brettanomyces. I could detect just a tiny hint of acetic acid too, but this only added to the whole dynamic of the aroma. Other pronounced features consisted of rich orange marmalade, fresh over ripe apples, apple pie, old barn, alcohol and spice. Depth, richness, heavy and traditional are the best words to describe this impressive nose. A real pleasure.
The palate was dominated by a very aggressive and sharp malic acid structure. This sent the salivary glands into overdrive. Delicate apple tannins and thick apple sweetness helped balance out the higher acidity zing. There were good amounts of woody oak and fresh apple flavours, along with a warm alcohol sensation. A slight oily mouth feel was evident, with just a light sprtiz on the tongue. I loved the balance between the oaky notes, the varietal apple flavours, the focused acidic backbone and halbtrocken sweetness. A nice long lingering length rounded out the palate perfectly and harmoniously. You couldn’t help think that this apfelwein was very closely related to an old English vintage cider.

This was a special apfelwein – perfect for the real cider enthusiast. Big, ripe flavours with a driving acid backbone were the hallmarks of this beautifully aged style. There is huge potential to use this apfelwein in cooking too, especially with roasted pork. But this was a real pleasure to drink. Highly recommended.  
Producer: Weidmann and Groh
Country: Germany (Freidberg-Ockstadt, Hessen)
Alcohol: 6.0%

Rating: 17 out of 20
Weidmann and Groh – 2010 Speierling
This next apfelwein is produced using just a small amount of the rare and indigenous Speierling variety. It’s made by using field apples (streuobst) as a base, with the small amounts of Speierling juice added to enhance tannins and complexity. The style is considered to be one of the more traditional methods of producing apfelwein in the Frankfurt area.  

The colour shone a lovely deep gold and the carbonation was very light, to almost non existent. On the nose, the Speierling was noticeably less intense and very subdued compared to the Trierer. It was more restrained and highly introverted. There were some light apple aromas and slight woody notes along with apple core, leafy and orange blossom characters. An interesting creaminess was also an interesting feature which was picked up on. This nose was lacking in intensity but it was clean, fault free and fresh.
The palate showed some noticeable apple sweetness which was balanced well with a tight malic acid backbone. A commendable tannin structure, along with some added bitterness was soft and delicate, but also very focused. This did add lovely texture and mouth feel. Flavour wise, it did taste a little watered down, with some of the delicate fresh apple flavours diluted. Although the front to mid palate was bold and notable, the back palate lacked essential punch which otherwise would have rounded out the palate well. The lack of carbonation may also be a reason why the palate lacked excitement towards the end. 

This example was exceedingly more delicate and restrained compared to the Bohnapfel and Trierer. I found it a little more commercial in style, showing more ‘modern’ features. In saying this, it still was a very creditable example. Again, this would be perfect with food – possibly with soft cheese or again a pork dish.                
Producer: Weidmann and Groh
Country: Germany (Freidberg-Ockstadt, Hessen)
Alcohol: 6.0%

Rating: 13.5 out of 20
Check out to check out their range of quality apfelweins.

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