2 years ago I looked at the Spreyton Vintage 2014 and thought that it was a pretty decent cider with bags of potential. Spreyton Cider Co, stylistically, have been growing rapidly. Now they have released the Cidermaker’s Select Vintage Select 2016.
Spreyton Cider has been working with local apple growing families to grow cider specific apples. Growers are only willing to do if they know they have a market for the apples. You can’t sell these apples into the local supermarket. It is a big investment in time and orchard space. Working with Spreyton Cider is making it a win win. Now the Kingston Black, Bulmer’s Norman, Yarlington Mill and Frequin Rouge trees are fruiting in usable numbers. There are very few ciders made in Australia with access to these apples so you know you are in for a unique taste.
There is one more classic cider apple in the mix. Cox’s Orange Pippen is splashed in after the ferment to add a little sweetness and acid to the cider.
As soon as the Cidermaker’s Select bottle was opened I released why it needed to be in a 750ml. It needed to be that big to fit all of the perfume in. First, you get hit in the face by sweat pears, then rockmelon and liquorice. The onslaught is relentless.
Under a head of rich foam, is a rose gold cider, a powerful cider. The flavour of the Vintage Select is full and rambunctious, there are a lot of things going on. Up front, there is a mouthful of old fashioned marshmallow, red current. All of those classic cider apples give the Vintage Select serious guts. A big handful back sweetening juice brings another level of life to the cider.
Elements of overripe strawberries and bitter chocolate, dance around the outside of the Cidermaker’s Select which fades into a dry but lingering finish.
Final Thoughts on the Cidermaker’s Select
As a fan of dry cider, I wonder what it would be with a little less back sweetening like the 2014 Vintage. I trust that cidermaker Damien Viney would have tried various blends and this was the best. And it is very good. That sweetness is like a highlighter in a uni student’s textbook, all the really important bits stick out and become memorable.
Planting classic British cider apples doesn’t just mean “this is how British cider tradition works so we’ll do it that way as well”. It means the colour palette has expanded, the cidermaking artist has more room to express their vision.
Spreyton’s Vintage Select 2016 is a tremendously good cider. Further more, it represents how much not just Spreyton but the wider cidermaking community has grown in the last few years. If this is the direction of Australian craft cider, I’m going to have a very long lasting smile.
|Product||Cidermakers Select Vintage Select 2016|
|Country of Origin||Australia|