Apple Cart Cider is the 2nd vintage release by Rusty Bike Wines. Table cider is a small category of the market but it is one of my favorites. The idea is that a large bottle of cider with higher alcohol and deep flavours is designed to be shared over a meal. So does the apple cart fit the bill?

As I said this is the second vintage, which in itself is quite an achievement for a 2 man operation. This years’ vintage is bigger. Saying that, it’s still unlikely you’ll see this at your local independent bottle shop. Rusty Bike sell direct to the public via their website and a handful of local venues.

Rusty Bike Wines are based in the Adelaide Hills where the apple juices are sourced. A combination of Granny Smiths, Pink Ladies  and  Golden Delicious from Ashton Hill. The raw unfiltered juice is treated with sulphite to keep it fresh and to kill off any wild bacteria like wilds yeasts.

To begin the production Apple Cart cider has been fermented with the Cross Evolution® strain of yeast. This is a lab bred strain of yeast developed in South Africa. Just like cattle or dogs , yeast can be selectively bred for specific traits, in this case those traits are “increased mouthfeel, high aromatic intensity, fresh fruit and floral characters. Some ester production.”  That is according to Lallemand the company who bred the yeast strain. Unlike cattle and dogs yeast strains can hold registered trademarks.

To further boost presence on the fresh fruit aromas the 1st ferment is done low and slow.  At lower temps the yeast works slower, which keeps the aromas intact. This primary ferment takes about 3 weeks before being bottled, by hand. Everything is done by hand all the way through the process, right up till they put the label on the bottle.


Apple Cart Cider has a green tinges

The Nose

Citrus fresh is the main spoke in this rusty wheel. The citrus is backed up by a very subtle scent of an old-fashioned apple flavoured boiled lolly.

The Taste

Rusty Bike have composed a bright and lively cider in the Apple Cart. Bottle conditioning has filled my glass with plenty of bubbles, by the time they hit my tongue they form a peloton of sharp points. As this foam dies down there is a pretty smooth texture. A citrus bite is pretty pronounced with plenty of green apple drafting in behind.

I wouldn’t call it a sweet cider by any stretch but the little bit of sweetness that is left behind provides a long but clean finish.

Over all Apple Cart its clean crisp and refreshing. They only thing that lessens the freshness is the warmth of the alcohol which particular prominent compared to other libations of the same strength.

Final Thoughts on The Apple Cart.

I love to ride my bike, but at the moment I’ve broken arm after I couldn’t keep it rubber side down. Now my bikes are sitting there. Lucky for me they’re not going rusty because that’s a pretty sad sight. Good thing this Rusty Bike is only a label.

As a table cider it’s going to be served with food. I think the mouth feel and the citrusy notes would sit well with a creamy chicken dish. The brightness should cut through the cream but the alcoholic warmth won’t be jarring. Apple Cart is interesting enough to become a talking point and not just another anonymous white wine.

At $15 for a 750ml bottle it’s pretty good value. You won’t find a good bottle of sparkling wine at that price.

Product Apple Cart Cider
Company Rusty Bike Wines
Sweetness Off Dry
Alc/Vol 8.5%
Country of Origin Australia
Region Adelaide Hills, South Australia

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