Saturday, 7 February 2015

Rusty Bike - 2014 Apple Cider

Following on from the last review, we are sticking to my home state of South Australia for this next instalment. Around five months ago I received an email from Winemaker Michael Goulden from Rusty Bike Wines in the Adelaide Hills. Turns out Michael got bitten by the cider bug, and sourced some Adelaide Hills apple juice to produce 400L’s of 2014 apple cider. He kindly dropped off a few bottles to me, along with a few of his award winning wines too. Thank you Michael!!
The 2014 Rusty Bike Cider was made in quite a traditional and simplistic way. A nice cool ferment, with some time on lees then straight to bottle for secondary fermentation - no oak. I myself use this method for my Adams Orchard Cider side project. The secondary method produces dry, cloudy ciders with higher alcohols and fine bubble. The varieties used for the Rusty Bike cider are unknown, but Michael interestingly mentioned he will have access to cider fruit in the coming years, so I cannot wait to see what he does with them. The bottle was beautifully presented in a big, heavy 750mL Champagne bottle, with a charming little label.

When poured into a glass, a lovely mousse erupted then hastily died into a cloudy champagne style bead. It just looked so pristine and pure from the presentation in the glass. A slight waft of reduction blew off to reveal a crisp and focused nose of early picked green apples, citrus and nuttiness. It was likened to taking a fresh new season Granny Smith apple out the fridge and biting into it. A slight floral tinge added some depth. Although the nose was quite simple in stature, it was elegant and attentive.

As expected, the palate was bone dry yet full of life. It was super focused and very linear, with a nice soft apple flavour. The apple did fade somewhat into a sea of malic and tartaric acid, with slight bitterness and alcoholic heat on the back palate. No malo was carried out for this cider, so acidity was fairly high and tart. The carbonation excited the whole mouth feel and gave it a lively and effervescent personality. The palate was very Winemaker driven being crisp, focused and sharp in physique, almost youthful Semillon like.

What would be great is to see a sweeter Methode Traditionelle version of this style. But I applaud Michael’s first attempt at producing cider, he’s done a great job. Yes it is very Winemaker styled, but this would appeal heavily to the dryer styled cider lovers. It’s simple, clean, fresh and great served with a plate of hard cheeses.

Producer: Rusty Bike Wines
Country: Australia (Adelaide Hills, South Australia)
Alcohol: 6.7%

Rating: 15 out of 20

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