Abavas Apple Cider Medium

It wasn’t Australia or France, as it is in many cases, that inspired Mārtiņš Barkāns to make cider. It was his honeymoon in the beautiful Toscana in Italy that made him want to produce wine in Latvia. Exactly, wine from grapes, not cider. But since it can take up to three years or even longer to establish a grapevine plantation that can make the first vintage, Mārtiņš’s focus turned in the meantime to fruit wines. Surprisingly, making cider, apple wine and wine from various fruits became Abavas’ core business and today cider makes an important part of their product portfolio.

Today I’m sampling Abavas’ Apple Cider Medium, made from selected Latvian apple varieties and matured 8 months at low temperatures. Previously I’ve tried their Ābolu Vīns Sausais, Premium Brut and Ābols Apiņos Hopped Apple.

Company: SIA Abavas dārzi, “Kalējkrāmi”
Place of Origin: 
Slampes country, Tukuma region, Latvia
a blend of selected Latvian apple varieties
Sweetness as per label: medium
ABV: 7.5%
Package type: 750ml amber glass champagne corked bottle
Recommended type of glass: flute or chalice glass

Appearance: pours a clear pale golden with a massive short-lived white head. High carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is fruity and lightly vinous with notes of yellow apple, melon, guava and some fresh sawdust.

Taste: it begins moderately sweet with a moderate crisp acidity of lemon. The taste moves then to light notes of fresh sawdust and ripe yellow apples, lingering overripe yellow apples, light tropical fruits of melon, some pear and a light vinous note. It finishes dry with a lingering lemon candy acidity, some distant bitterness with notes of grapefruit, light herbal notes in the aftertaste and a touch of alcohol.

Overall: Abavas Apple Cider Medium comes in a champagne bottle, which suggests that that the cider maker thought it tastes best at higher carbonation level. I have to disagree. When I poured it into a champagne glass, I thought it tasted average. But when I let it stay for a couple of minutes and tried again, I thought I’m drinking a completely different cider. I found it then very elegant, fruity, apple flavour driven, not overly sweet with a beautiful long finish. I enjoyed their Apple Cider Medium, but I think that high carbonation level is a disservice to this cider. Overall, a very drinkable and tasty cider that is best to consume a few minutes from opening. But I encourage you to make your own opinion about Abavas’ Apple Cider Medium. 4.5/6 

Availability: in Finland from ALKO. In Belgium from Cideris, in the Netherlands from CiderCider, and in Latvia from Spirit & Wines.

Price: Apple Cider Medium was a sample provided by Abavas.

Note: Abavas will attend the craft cider concept exhibition – “same but different” at ProWein in Düsseldorf in March 2018.