Aval Cidre Artisanal
Aval Cidre Artisanal (6.0% alcohol by volume) is made from pure apple juice from five varieties of organic apples (about 20% each): Avrolle (acidic), Kermerrien (bitter), Marie Menard (bitter), Douce Moën (bittersweet) and Dous Coat (sweet) grown on 86.4 acres of sandy, silty soil. They use no juice concentrate and no added sugars or sweeteners. The apples are picked by hand and mechanically from the trees, sorted manually and any damaged fruit is discarded, washed, ground, macerated for an hour to lightly oxidize and brown the apples, pressed, fermented for 45 days and then blended and bottled. The cider has a very interesting perfumey fruit smell with some faint phenolics and a range of apple aromas, apple skin and a soft earthiness. The cider is light amber gold with a soft light red apple skin pink tint. The pour kicks up a brief, 1/2" white cap and it has a very fine soft fizz. Aval has a very complex array of apple flavors and a marvelous blend of mild sweetness and gentle tartness getting support from bitter tannins on the finish that help dry things out and add a slight astringent note. A trace of malolactic fermentation in the background gives it a hint of mild funk, faint traces of smoked bacon and a hint of butter. The moderate carbonation is soft and natural. Aval is mouth filling and medium bodied. This is an elegant, complex yet rustic cider that inspires you to toss a couple of chilled bottles, some glasses, a baguette and some cheese into your panniers, and bike off to a nice quiet spot along a river with a friend or loved one to watch the water flow. It also works well sitting in your garden watching the plants grow. I rate Aval 90.