Digging deep into the cool room I found a bottle that I was meant to write about months ago. I found a bottle of Napoleone Methode Traditionelle Apple. Given Napoleone‘s track record I’m not sure why I haven’t cracked it open earlier.

Napoleone Methode Traditionelle has a fairly common base to the cider. It starts as a mix of Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples with the addition of the less common Sundowner apples. All of which are Apple Aussie varieties. In fact, the Pink Lady and the Sundowner are basically siblings. Both have the same parental plants, Golden Delicious and Lady Williams. Both breed in Western Australia in the same research orchard.

Being a Methode Traditionelle the ferment happens, at least in part, in the bottle. 3 months on lees to round out the flavours. Then for this bottle, at least, it was disgorged in 2012. This cider is not made every harvest. Instead it the cider only make it in the years with best apples.

Napoleone Methode Traditionelle Apple Cider

The Nose

This cider is great to stick your nose into. When you pour it into the glass a magnificent head of foam appears above a sauvignon blanc coloured cider. As the bubbles burst it spritzes up all sort of scents.  Caramel coated apples, table grapes, French style vinaigrette. My first impression was some lime juice but as I continued I’m not so sure about that on my second glass.

The Taste

This is bold. Napoleone have gone all out with the Methode Traditionelle. The first thing is a froth of bubbles. Next is the spice. The bottle describes it as spiced apple. I would describe it more as a Pink Lady at its peak mixed with a mustard vinaigrette. That sharp bite on a good salad dressing is really refreshing and provides a nice clean finish.

Final Thoughts on Napoleone Methode Traditionelle Cider

A couple of  years ago Napoleone’s Methode Tradionelle Perry won best in Aussie Cider at the 2014 Australian Cider Awards. I’m going to disagree with the judges. Give me a bottle of this apple over their perry any day of the week. But regular readers will know I’ll go apple over pear 9 times out of ten.

It’s the bight in this cider that sets the Napoleone Methode Traditionelle apart from other MT ciders. There are a few other ciders out there have this vinaigrette tang. However, the combination of the tang and the subtleties that bottle conditionings bring to a cider makes this a great cider. Could possible make it my annual best of list.

Product Napoleone Methode Traditionelle Apple Cider
Company Napoleone Cider
Sweetness Off Dry
Alc/Vol 7.5%
Website NapoleoneCider.com.au
Country of Origin Australia
Region Yarra Valley, Victoria