Name: Trierer Weinapfel (Sortenreiner) Apfelwein 2011
Producer: Weidmann & Groh, Norman Groh
Region: Friedberg-Ockstadt, Hessen. Germany
Style: Single Varietal (sortenreiner), Premium Still Apfelwein (German cider)
Type: Semi-Dry (halbtrocken)
Bottle: 750ml (wine bottle)
With the availability of a wide range of fruit from his own orchards, Norman Groh is producing a some excellent apfelweins. Hand made in relatively small quantities, the range varies from season to season depending on the availability of each apple variety and on the preferences of the apfelwein maker. On this occasion, Norman Groh has produced a wonderful single variety apfelwein from the Trierer Weinapfel, an apple much loved in southern Germany and a typical cider apple with high levels of acidity and tannin with a very low level of sugar.
(Source for the Roter Trier Weinapfel image: www.obstsortendatenbank.de)
This apfelwein is made by splitting the apples into two streams, one of which is pressed and immediately transferred to a fermentation tank, while the other half is allowed to slowly begin to ferment while still ‘on the most’. This is quite a non-traditional practice for apfelwein whereas it is common, for example, in the British cider tradition. The result is a deeper colour and a more complex flavour. In addition, the apples have been stored before pressing to develop the sugars, and again this is an extremely atypical practice in Germany, whereas it is pretty much the basis of British cider making.
The colour in the glass is a deep golden orange, while the aroma is sweet with hints of mature apple and spices.
On tasting, the initial impression is big with plenty of sweetness, lots of woody flavours as well as cooked, spiced apples. There is plenty of acidity which can be felt on the sides of the tongue. It hints in the direction of a barrel matured cider, or even elements of a raisin-like late harvest wine. The middle is heavy sweet apples, while the finish is short and soft with little of the long tannin that one might expect to find in a cider made with the Trierer Weinapfel.
Overall this is a great direction for apfelwein which plays to the strength of the apfelwein maker, as well as offering connoisseurs and non-apfelwein drinkers a great new possibility. This is a really drinkable apfelwein.
A version of this review is also available here.