Arquiteka is a new cider from Victoria’s Yarra Valley. You have probably seen the ads for it on social media with its standout minimalist hole punch design black and white label.
the Arquiteka have spent 2 years perfecting the recipe which is nearly as long as it will take you to guess the pronunciation of the cider, which by the way is pronounced “Are – kwee – tech – ka”.
They have used 5 different strains of yeast in this cider. I have been banging on about playing with yeasts to generate new flavours for years. I’d take a yeast experiment over an added fruit or spiced cider any day of the week, so full credit to the Arquiteka cider team there.
These yeasts are used to ferment 9 different apples all from the Yarra Valley, where they grow some decent apples. Where thing get a little different is how they press the apples. You see they press them twice. Yeah um?
So, you know that bottle of extra virgin olive oil in your pantry? Well, the extra virgin bit means that as the press comes down on the olives the first liquid to escape flesh is considered the highest quality and this is what goes onto make extra virgin olive oil. The press is then backed off before being applied again allowing more lower quality liquid can be extracted.
Apples behave in a similar manner but interestingly Arquiteka says they use purified rainwater. So, reading between the line here: There is an old technique where after the first press the apple pomace was generously sprayed down with water and presses again to extract the last of the flavour. This liquid was fermented into a low alcohol drink called ciderkin which was given to kids when the freshwater was unsafe to drink. My best guess is this is the technique being used here with the unfermented ciderkin juice being blended with the first pressing juice. I suppose that means a little more cider for a given number of apples. The cider takes 6 months to age.
A bold riot of sour apple and acetone notes head butting up against old fashion apple favoured boiled lollies. It’s got elements of a proper farmhouse style Somerset cider.
The Somerset vibes keep coming in the taste department with a good hit of astringency and a vinegarish zing. This slightly hazy straw-coloured cider has plenty of small-bubbled fizz.
Back of the palate and late in the game introduces more of that boiled lollies sweetness that resembles more of a brown sugar vibe as it warms. There is a gap in the flavour created by that water that could have been filled with more flavour. The finish is on the crisper end of the spectrum.
Final Thoughts on the Arquiteka
The Arquiteka could have been great but it’s like going to see AC/DC playing a stadium but having the speakers turned down as not to disturb the neighbours. I think that is the water hampering the punch of those Yarra Valley apples and 5 strains of yeast could be giving us.
It is a great label matched with a easy drinking, if a little diluted, taste. It’s good but not great, it’s just a missed opportunity.
|Company||Woodchipper Cider Co|
|Country of Origin||Australia|