Jun 14, 2016

Domaine de Montreuil Reserve Calvados du Pays d'Auge...

Domaine de Montreuil Reserve Calvados du Pays d'Auge (42.0%): Yeah, I kinda feel still dispirited about talking whisky these days... I don't think that it will last too long and I will be back soon for sure with new reviews but I think my decision to stay away from over-priced whiskies will be a permanent move... In the meantime I am using this opportunity to taste and learn more about wine, fortified wines, liqueurs and other spirits. Summer is on the corner here in Southern California and I thought it would be nice to have a few malt-alternatives in my notebook... So, here is a very decently priced Calvados from Domaine de Montreuil. Domaine de Montreuil is owned by Giard family for more than twelve generations. They distill their Calvados from the apples they harvest from 30 hectares orchards they own and traditionally they collect the apples after they fall to the ground by themselves when they are ready. The cider fermented waits for one year for seasoning and then goes through double distillation before finding its way into the casks. At the end of the maturation the spirit is cut down to 42% using rain water only and bottled. The label refers to the liquid in the bottle as "reserve" which tells us that the spirit is at least three years old. Color: Golden yellow with a nice green hue... Nose: Granny Smith apples, apple seeds and dandelion leaves. Quite sour, acidic and bitter. Beeswax soap, candle wax and fresh rosemary. White wine vinegar, vanilla and orange slices. Yes... Juicy but not so sweet small oranges. Lots of them... Unsweetened white grape juice and unripened Anjou pears. I like how young, uneasy and vibrant the nose is. Palate: Feels hotter than 42% abv... Young alcohol burn on each side of the tongue. Granny Smith apple slices, Concorde pears and fresh fennel. So beautifully sour... I can almost taste the cider it got distilled from. Christmas cake spices, toasted pumpkin seeds, grilled green asparagus and charcoal. A couple of water drops sweetens it up: More vanilla and Red Delicious apples now. Seeds and stems. Finish: Long with white pepper and slightly fermented grape juice. Young alcohol... Overall: Well, definitely not a mellow and subtle spirit. If you were hoping for that kind of a Calvados you should be looking for very old ones anyway... It is young, a little untamed but so aromatic and tasty. This is exactly what you would be served in a cafe in France to accompany your cup of coffee while you are reading a magazine and enjoying your sunny afternoon at a sidewalk table. Such a good change of course for me... A perfect example why we shouldn't stick for one type of a brown spirit but explore more. Always be open to suggestions and don't refuse to taste anything you didn't taste before... Worst-case scenario; you will hate it and won't put it in your mouth again. But if you happen to like it you will be opening the doors of a brand new world waiting to be explored...