This 2014 Albee Hill from Eve’s Cidery is by far the most lavish and extravagant of the past three bottlings. And yet, the orchard’s terroir still shines through. It begins with a richly golden color, is brilliantly clear and, being still, is without any effervescence. It appears much like a ten-year old Chardonnay. The Albee Hill nose is distinctive for the note of petrol that it throws, much like a cold Riesling. Surrounding that central aroma is an orb of apple notes that suggest ripeness and purity. A floral quality flirts with the ripe apple. It’s a complex set of aromas that pulls you back in. This cider is built around a very shiny and very smooth central core of acid. The entire cider hangs on this acidic tether. It makes the cider. Tannins are more muted in the 2014, but show up around the edge and on the finish. Despite the 8.5% alcohol there is no sign of heat. Finally, there is the beautiful collection of flavors that form a circle around a beautiful core of just-ripe (not overly ripe) apple. Bitter lemon, pear notes and a mineral or shale like character all swirl around the apple center. The finish is long and helped along by lingering tannins. As mentioned above, this is a more lavish Albee Hill. More flamboyant particularly in its structure and flavors. Earlier versions have been more austere than the 2014. But nonetheless, this still and dry cider should be among the first choices of anyone seeking to put one of America’s finest ciders on their table.
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