Sagardotegia Iruin Astiazaran Cider
Barrika Basque Country Cider
Sagardotegia Iruin has been making cider since 1880. Astiazaran Cider Barrika Basque Country Cider (6.0% alcohol by volume) is made from locally grown Basque apples with no additives and no chemical manipulation. They control the wild fermentation by controlling the temperature. The cider is distributed nationally and internationally and has won more than 100 prizes throughout its long history. The cider has a mildly funky, light, spicy apple aroma with some faintly smoky phenolics in the background. It pours gold with a light haze with a clear, well-defined meniscus. It is lightly petillant and my feeble attempt at a "asque long pour kicks up a slight fizz leaving a ring of small bubbles around the rim. It has lemonade levels of tartness with moderate apple flavors. The cider is bone dry. Tannins are big, providing body and a crisp dryness. The funk is moderate leaving a touch of smoked bacon phenolic flavors on the tongue and in the aftertaste. The body is average to medium light and the astringency is medium high. The alcohol is clean and smooth. This cider is refreshing, charming and unique. It has the ability to cut through anything. For a special treat, drink it with Campovieja, Garrotxa, Idiazábal, or Ossau-Iraty cheese or go "Basque and drink it with salted cod, omelets, or a steak fresh off the grill. I rate it 87 alone and it is off the charts when paired with these foods. Grab a couple bottles of this cider, pick one or two of the cheeses, get a baguette, some walnuts, some olives, some jelly, a good friend and find a nice spot in the garden to spend the afternoon and evening. Get a third bottle of the cider and grill a steak. You will thank me.