Name: Apfelschaumwein (Trocken) Methode Classique, 2011
Producer: Apfelweinkontor in collaboration with Kelterei Joachim Döhne
Region: North Hessen, Germany
Style: Sparkling Apfelwein (bottle fermented, méthode traditionnelle)
Type: Dry (trocken)
Bottle: 750ml (champagne style)
Apfelweinkontor continues to set new standards for modern premium apfelwein (german cider). This time, in collaboration with Joachim Döhne, it is an outstanding ‘champagne style’ sparkling apfelschaumwein, hand made using the méthode traditionnelle or méthode classique.
This apfelschaumwein is made using local apples from the north Hessen region near Kassel. It is produced from a variety of apples which are each fermented into a dry apfelwein before a cuvée is made, bottled, and then fermented for a second time in the bottle. After secondary fermentation (a period of anything between 3 and 9 months), and hand turning (riddling), the bottles are disgorged and a dosage is added to the crisp dry schaumwein before being hand corked and labelled.
The wine has a beautiful deep golden colour and a strong but subtle and long lasting perlage.
It must be said that the aroma is incredible, bursting with incredible fresh fruit, apple, and a hint (in olfactory terms) of sweetness.
On tasting, there is all of this and more: again the fresh fruit, with hints of sweetness, filling the mouth with caramel flavours before gradually giving way to a firm acidity. This latter is the key to the wine. Without the crisp, clear, firm structure of acidity the palate would be overcome by fruit. On the middle palate there is a definite transition to a ‘champagne-like’ dryness, before finishing with a surprisingly long apple sensation.
Overall, this is a wonderful sparkling apfelwein that harnesses strong elements (freshness, acidity, yeast, dryness, sweetness) in a subtle and deft combination. At the price (ca. 14 euros) it is hard to imagine a better quality, or value, sparkling wine of any kind.
I tasted the Apfelweinkontor, Apfelschaumwein (Trocken) Methode Classique 2011 with my friend Eduardo, so you can find a Spanish language review here. A further English language review is available here.