One year later....
The dance of coaxing a family of ciders from apple harvest to release is a complicated choreography on a orchard-based cidery such as ours. The challenges and rewards of making cider year by year, from fruit grown on our own farm, were really apparent in bringing the fruits of last growing seasons labor to life in the bottle. Our latest release ever (smack dab in the middle of the next harvest!), this e-mail marks the official sending out into the world of these special ciders. The harvest was small, and some quantities are very limited. The 2018 ciders are now available on our website where you can order direct from the farm to your door in a few easy steps.
The 2018 Ciders:
The 2018 Albee Hill was made in limited quantities and features the gorgeous aromas and restrained tannins that define the vintage. This cider always gets blended first, from the best barrels and tanks, as a showcase of the season and the site.
Tasting notes: Unfolding layers of sweet and savory aromas like ripe cantaloupe, kerosene and wet shale evolve on a soft mid palate. The finish is juicy and energetic with dust, roses and a touch of bitter herbs.
The 2018 Beckhorn Hollow is a revival of this bright, acid driven heirloom apple blend. One third of the blend is Golden Russet grown on our certified organic Albee Hill orchard. Layer upon layer of vibrant aromas evolve and reveal themselves if given the time. This beguiling cider is going to be happy spending time in the bottle and in the glass.
Tasting notes: Red cherry, dark roast coffee and carnations on the nose with a dense, focused mid palate and linear finish that lingers with zingy acid, ripe fruit and citrus peel.
100% wild foraged pears from the hills and hollows surrounding our farm. The 2018 Perry Pear is ethereal and extremely limited. This is your only chance to get a bottle or two (there is a 2 bottle per purchase limit). Drink one now and put the other in your cellar as this one will age.
Tasting notes: Figs, honey and nutmeg on the nose. The palate is complex and evolving with pear cobbler, gun flint and battered rocks. The finish is substantial and not at all sweet with lemon pith and crunchy beach sand.
The 2018 Darling Creek is a stunning example of what balance in cider can look like. A bit of residual sugar, bright acid, firm tannins. This is a precise cider that speaks to great apples and a great terroir.
Tasting notes: A ripe, sweet nose with red cherry, persimmon and vanilla cake offers up a juicy, generous mid-palate. The firm, suede finish goes on forever with toffee bar, nut skin and buttered pastry.
Despite a dry spring, what came to define the 2018 growing season was rain and humidity that started in July and didn't let up for 9 months. October and September were about as damp and soggy as we've ever seen them and you can read Ezra's 2018 Harvest Report to get a feel for what the weather was like. Ultimately, what did all this mean for the cider? As expected, sugars (and thus alcohol levels) were lower, and tannins were softer and less pronounced. But we were surprised by the gorgeous aromatics that emerged from apples that hadn't seen a whole lot of sun during ripening. These ciders are graceful, delicate, precise and pretty.
In It For The Long Haul
18 months after the apples were set and 12 months after harvest, we are sharing with you the story of the 2018 growing season in a bottle.
But our work these days is mostly about what's to come as we get ready for our last press of the year, tend to the wild fermentations in the cellar and prepare the apple trees for winter. In the end, somehow the long hours and hard work yield to a kind of magic that finds its way to your table.
-Autumn Stoscheck 11/4/19