Here you can find short overview about the cider as a product, season 2019. The cider is made from untreated apples, harvested by hand in smaller orchards in the Vale de Saire region. This season was particularly rainy during the harvest season. The apples are crashed and pressed on "presse à paquets" using local service provider. The juice/moût is than fermented with native yeast present both on the apples and in the cave. There is no temperature control. The specific density, sugar content of the juice was around standard for the region this year, around 1050 (2018 was very high even around 1075). The weather was quite warm, temperature above the optimal 8°C for cider fermentation with minimum of cold periods which would allow for soutirage/racking. For some of the batches I did minimal filtration through cardboard paper filters. I do not use any chemicals during or after the fermentation process. Now it is the time for bottling. I will count the yeast cells and based on that bottle the cider. After that it will take between two to four months for the cider to get fizzy, prise de mousse naturelle, preferably under the 10°C and also it will age a bit. The cider 2019 will be ready for sale and distribution by end of August or during September 2020. When you get your cider please keep in mind, it is very important, that it is life product. There are still active yeast and bacteria in the product therefore you should keep it stored at temperature under 10°C, definitely under 15°C. It is very important to keep this in mind with natural ciders prepared like this of the last season. After a year in bottle or year and half the product is much more stable and than storing at higher temperatures, like 20°C is not so dangerous.
Now bit about the flavour. This is a typical Cotentin style cider (however it is not AOP, at least not yet). What does that means? Well our region is basically the most astringent and bitter cider region in France. The apples are very high on phenolic compounds therefore you can see it in a colour which can go as deep as "amber", sometimes smell it in it's fragrance because it's the phenolic compounds which may be responsible for special aromas too and as mentioned you can profit from a complex bitter and astringent flavour. The cider is bit opaque because it is either not filtered at all or filtered just very lightly and it has deposit. From the point of view of effervescence it is rather sparkling, the bubbles are made by secondary fermentation in the bottle by natural yeast, prise de mousse naturelle as the French say. Because of that the bubbles are very small and they last for a long time, even few days when cider is opened and not closed. For the ones who know my ciders a bit already, the millésime 2019 will be more like 2017, so quite light, for brut alcohol around 5-5.5%, demi-sec around 4%. It will be less strong by flavour and astringency/bitterness than 2018 which was very high on sugars (around 6% alc or bit over) and high on bitter apples. Personally I'm really looking forward towards 2019 because it is much more easy to drink when you are thirsty.