What do you know about cider from Japan? If you are anything like me, it’s probably not a lot. But let’s use Moriyama Apple Orchard’s Tekikaka Cidre to learn a bit about it.
The 2 things that you probably know about apples in Japan. The Fuji Apple was developed there. It found fame in the 1980’s when it was grown around the world.
The other thing you probably heard is that it is possible to pay nearly AU$20 for a practically perfect apple in the stores. So how do you make an apple pretty enough that people are willing to pay that premium? The Moriyama Apple Orchard is over 100 years old. Over that time they have perfected the art of “tekika” (yes the name of the Tekikaka Cidre is a play on words). Tekika is the process of hand pruning the trees and picking off some of the apples to give the remaining apples more sunlight and breeze without fear of the apples rubbing against each other.
That does sound like a bit of a waste, discarding all those apples which the tradition dictated. The Moriyama Apple Orchard decided to use these young apples in the Tekikaka Cidre. A first for japan.
Each year Moriyama Apple Orchard pick about 27 tonnes of apples. About 50% of them are Fuji, the other 50% are a mix of another 20 apples types with 30% of them fully ripe apples to boost the sugar content for fermentation.
From that 27 tonnes they can produce 2300 litres each month.
Before we get to the nose, we can’t go past what happened when I poured this cider into the glass. The Tekikaka Cidre has massive head like a dutch beer. It is also very cloudy.
The scent is a bit odd. It’s isn’t what I call fresh. Yes, I have had this bottle in the cellar for about 4 months, but it doesn’t smell like the caramel signature of an aged cider. The Tekikaka Cidre, on the other hand, is mousey and not much of an apple vibe at all. Maybe that is the younger apples.
This is quite tart dry affair. It reminds me a little bit of the Japanese citrus fruit yuzu or under ripe green apples. The middle of flavour is all yeast.
The finish is pretty long and lingering with a bitter twist at the end.
Final Thoughts on the Tekikaka Cidre
The Tekikaka Cidre has only been on the market for 3 years. It has been a tough start for them in a country without a culture of drinking cider. It feels like the cider makers, like all cider makers, are still learning, every day is a school day.
Take a took at the car industry. Invented in Europe, popularised in the US then significantly refined in Japan. It’s internally possible that the Japanese cider market could follow the same path.
|Company||Moriyama Apple Orchard|
|Country of Origin||Japan|
|Region||Aomori Prefecture, Hirosaki,|