If you are a bit of a wine fan in Australia you probably know about the Gilbert family and their wines from Mudgee. Long time readers will remember Gilbert’s first crack at Ciders with The Goose. Now they are back with The Goose Cider Ancestrale. 

How simple can you make cider? Does that mean that the end cider will be simple or complex? Gilbert’s Simon and Will cider making winemakers have hand-picked and blended Foxwhelp, Kingston Black, Pink Lady and Granny Smith apples. Machines add complexity.

The juice is bottled before the fermentation has finished. Which, I think is probably the simplest method to make a fizzy cider I can think of. It doesn’t even have a label on the bottle just a nice simple tag around the neck of the bottle. The Goose Cider Ancestrale

Does this level of simplicity mean that the cider is going dull, samey, or just amateur? The cider in the bottle is a little hazy, but at the bottom of the bottle is a chunky layer of sediment. The tag on the bottle asks you to roll the bottle around the mix in the sediment. Is this where the simple becomes complex?

The Goose Cider Ancestrale sediment

The Nose

The Cider Ancestrale has a nice sharp apple hit, backed up by an even nicer fresh toast hum. It’s easy to tell that the hero of this cider is that sediment.

The Taste

Thousands of tiny bottle conditioned greets your tongue in the way that only a bottle conditioned cider can.  All off those lees gives a creamy smooth mouthfeel. Being bottled on 7th of February this year it’s still very young, meaning the Cider Ancestrale is bright, fresh and crisp. Despite being as fresh and crisp as a summer watermelon the finish is long and lingering. I put that down to the smoothness that carries the flavour late into the sip.

Final Thoughts on Cider Ancestrale

Simon and Will have made a cider that is hard to describe. I thought that this would have been simple or basic but the sediment could have pushed it in the other way. It could have been pushed to the extreme, but I think a winemaker’s sensibility is on display. They could have said “right we want to show off the yeast and sediment so let’s make it funky or dank” but it’s just nice toasty warmth. I rarely compliment winemakers playing with cider but this is delightfully reframed and just nice to drink.

Product The Goose Cider Ancestrale
Company Gilbert Family
Sweetness Off Dry
Alc/Vol 5.5%
Website gilbertfamilywines.com.au/
Country of Origin Australia
Region Apples from Orange, made in Mudgee, NSW
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