Thursday, 12 September 2013

The Goose Apple Cider (2012)

I must admit, The Goose which is made by vintner Gilbert by Simon Gilbert in Mudgee (NSW), has been on my bucket list of ciders to try for some time now. Firstly, the classy and contemporary label had me hooked from the word go. The idea of the ‘Goose’ was to represent a playful and naughty natured cider made to a traditional dry style. Secondly and most importantly, I got hooked because the cider was made using real organically grown cider apples from Orange. Fundamentally, the cider is a hybrid blend of cider and dessert apples. The varieties consist of the bittersharps - Kingston Black and Foxwhelp and desserts of Pink Lady and Granny Smith. The actual precents of the blend are a mystery but one thing stands out - the cider is made using malic acid dominated Pink Lady, Granny Smith and Foxwhelp AND is DRY! I’m sensing a tooth destroying, enamel rotting, acid bomb here. Another point to note is both Kingston Black and Foxwhelp are high in tannins, and this would be a great addition to the cider structurally.  
The cider poured a very pale straw with just a small amount of soft carbonation in the glass. Very crisp, sharp and under ripe notes of Granny Smith and crab apple flesh dominated the nose. Fresh lemons, grassiness and a touch of soapiness was also evident. I would label this nose the Semillon of cider (a young Semillon that is). Although very simple, it was super tight, fresh and zingy. Was there any evidence of cider fruit? Unfortunately not. This was a very dessert apple dominated nose.
On first mouthful, the cider offered up a very refreshing dryness which led into a mouth puckering invasion of malic acidity. Wowzers! This baby as predicted, was a super tart number with a strong acid back bone. Textbook Pink Lady and Granny Smith at play here, and unfortunately was a little out of balance. With dominate lemon/citrus flavours being so lean and green, the acidity was over amplified and confused. The consequence of this was that the palate weight suffered, leaning towards the thinner spectrum. Another disappointing feature was the distinct lack of bittersharp tannins - none to be seen! However towards the back palate, a woody character and also what seemed to be creamy note did add some much needed interest. There was also a hint of apple seed bitterness which I did enjoy and the alcohol was in good balance. 
This cider was made to be simple and clean and I think the brief was nailed here. One thing I do question is the lack of cider apple fruit presence. Kingston Black and Foxwhelp are famous for their high tannins and rich fruit. Unfortunately these traits were no where to be seen. It was very dessert apple dominated with its lean acidity and simple flavours. You may be left wanting a little more, but to its credit, it was very drinkable and would satisfy any mean thirst.
Producer: Gilbert by Simon Gilbert
Country: Australia (Mudgee, New South Wales)
Alcohol: 5.5%
Rating: 12 out of 20


1 comment:

  1. Young semillon was my thought too, and I sold heaps of it using that comparison.