The West County “Reine de Pomme” is a stunning cider that trades in depth and complexity. But, let’s start at the beginning. The Reine de Pomme (translated as “Queen of Apples”) is thought to have originated in Normandy, France. It is a bittersweet apple that delivers richness and astringent tannins. In this West County version, it begins with an inviting, clear dark gold color. A full head of mousse forms upon pouring, then dissitates. The nose is packed with fresh, bright apple aroma, a hint of yeasty cellar funk and rounded out by really beautiful floral notes that trend toward orange blossom. This is a relatively weighty cider on the palate and the tannins hit first, slightly curling your tongue. There is the barest note of sweetness here, but the drink is primarily dry. The apple flavors have a distinct savory character that are interrupted by sparks of fresh squeezed apple juice. There is a tart quality on the finish and around the edge and this cider is long and lasting. Again, this is beautiful cider that has a muscular character and offers complex flavors and aromas. It would serve as a beautiful accompaniment to the main course of short ribs, grilled meat, or a pasta dish with a rich tomato sauce. Beautiful and a fantastic value and one of the finest American ciders I’ve yet tasted.
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