Henry of Harcourt is a bit of a rare breed of cider makers. Every year they make a series of ciders only made from one type of apple in each. This gives cider fans a chance to isolate an individual apple flavour removing variables like terroir and seasonality of these single variety ciders.
On a sunny Saturday afternoon in a Sydney beach side suburb, I sat down with a few friends to compare the 5 single variety ciders, The Yarlington Mill, Dabinett, Michelin, De Boutteville, Chatagnier. I’m going to break this down with a video and some individual takes on the different apples.
What makes a premium wine? Quantifiable uniqueness. By that, I mean Region: Does the region promote desired qualities in the fruit? Vintage: Were the grapes grown in a good season with good weather? Then there is the fruit itself. There are other factors in the production techniques. Get all of these factors correct and it will be generally excepted that you will have a quality wine.
Montague Cider House had their first release this season. As they own the master licensee for the Jazz Apple in Australia they have the exclusive right to use the trademarked name. So they put it to good use creating the Montague Jazz Apple Cider, which, you guessed it is made from the Jazz apple.
Seven Oak Farmhouse Cider are a bit of a rare breed in Australia’s cider scene. We’re starting to see a few single variety ciders on the shelves. Most of these are made with eating apples; one or two might be English cider apples. Seven Oaks are making a single variety cider with the French “Rous Latour” cider apple.
One of things I love about reviewing English ciders is the history. Take this Bottle of Wilcox Cheddar Mill Yarlington Mill Medium Cider; you can trace its history all the way back to their first cider press which started work in 1868. History is one thing, but relying on the hard work of your great granddaddy alone does not make a good cider. Have Wilcox made a modern cider with their traditional training?
Perry’s cider, the rather confusingly named cider company is famous for their ciders and not so much for their perrys. Since being in the UK, I’ve has the opportunity to try some of Perry limited edition ciders. But today I’m trying one of their more famous blends. Well to call it a blend is a bit of a lie. You see this cider is a single variety cider. Some say the art of cider making is in the blending of different varieties to the makers’ whim. The Somerset Dabinett is made entirely from famous Dabinett cider apples all grown in deepest darkest Somerset.