Thursday, 6 February 2014

Sidra Escanciador - Natural Sidra Riera

Ahhhh, espaƱol sidra - we meet again! Just like a ranging bull or an unforgiving Rafa Nadal forehand, Spanish Sidra packs a whole lotta punch! Stylistically, Sidra is hugely different when compared to the gazillion commercial Australian ciders which we all currently enjoy. So much so, picture the picture Pluto - that's how far apart these two styles are/can get. We don't see too much Sidra in Australia, with drips and drabs floating around in speciality bottle shops. In all honestly, I have had my doubts as to whether Sidra could ever be popular here in Oz. We've got to remember that Sidra can be overly confronting with super rustic features like high volatile acidity, and throat wrenching dryness. Some literally taste like liquefied salt and vinegar chips! This may appeal to some, but let me tell you its an acquired taste. I suggest clicking on the 'Spanish Cider' tab on the home page, and read up a little more on the past two Sidra's I have reviewed.

Sidra Escanciador is located in Villaviciosa in the famous Sidra region of Asturias in Northern Spain. The brand is distributed across Australia by Broadway Liquor. The Natural Sidra Riera is produced very traditionally with acid apples (possibly crab apples)naturally fermented in wooden vats, with no final filtration. The company produces 500,000L's of Asturias Sidra each year, with its ES label being the most known and popular.

The Sidra poured a nice hazy yellow straw, with absolutely no carbonation in the glass. Remember folks, when there is no carbonation the cider is termed 'still', just like a white wine. The nose offered up copious amounts of beautiful rusticity and earthiness. There was a huge whack of deep and complex farmhouse richness almost emulating a fine Breton Cidre. Rich ripe apples combined in perfect harmony with old woody characters to add an element of Spanish traditionalism. A hint of sourness, VA and a tiny lick of brettanomyces was also evident. The complexing layers seemed endless, with broadening wild ferment funk and barnyard notes just lifting the nose to a whole new level. It's a nose which sounds scary and ugly, but it really is a work of art. Just magic. 

Although the palate wasn't at the same level of quality as the nose, its still impressed me. The palate weight was on the weaker/watery side, with uber bone dry characters and large tart acidity dominating the mouth feel. However, rustic apple flavours which seemed to linger for eternity added excitement and length. Some volatile notes which usually stick in the back of the throat were less intrusive in this Sidra, and did not offend. There were no tannins to speak of which did leave a hole in the mid to back palate. What I found was that after every mouthful, I was getting more and more addicted. I couldn't put my finger on it, but this Sidra (and its palate), just kept getting better - a real nice surprise. It was easy drinking, with tonnes of personality.

The Sidra Escanciador - Natural Sidra Riera would have to be the best Sidra's I have tried. I loved the rusticity and complexity of the nose - it was waaaay up my alley. The palate perhaps was a touch acidic and watery, but it had lovely flavours which just lingered forever. What I did love was the lower levels of VA as it made the Sidra more approachable. The drink would be perfectly match with blue cheese, or a Sidra glazed chorizo (Chorizo a la Sidra). Yumm!!

Producer: Sidra Escanciador
Country: Asturias (Spain)
Alcohol: 6.0%
Website: N/A

Rating: 14.5 out of 20


1 comment:

  1. I haven't seen this one yet but I really get pumped on Spanish Sidra. If I could only pour it like a true Spaniard.