French Normandy Cidre may be, after Spanish Asturian cider, among the easiest cider styles to identify blind. This production produced by the famed Paye d’Auge cidermaker Drouin under the Comte de Lauriston brand name is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. First, comes that beautiful, richly golden hued liquid that pours from the bottle with significant effervescence, producing a fluffy and loud head. The aromas deliver up ripe to overripe apple notes, orange blossom and the barest and attractive hint of yeast. It’s medium in weight on the palate where the chalky tannins spring to like and define the structure. Sparkle and thin layers of acid, along with residual sugar help build the scaffolding. The flavor profile is built around apple sweetness of a moderate character, notes of burnt wood, sweet citrus and a tangy-yeasty character that is very well tamed. The finish is medium to long, due to the substantial tannin. I find this cidre to possess an elegance and rusticity, both of which suggest it be paired with a meal and dishes that can support the tannin and relatively intense flavors and aromas. It’s a lovely cider that is a fine representation of the Normandy model.
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