Cidrerie du Château de Lézergué Rosé

Some of you may think that rosé cider is synonymous with summer. I prefer to think that every season is good for cider. The only difference is that in winter you have to learn to appreciate it indoors. Today’s Rosé cidre was crafted by Cidrerie du Château de Lézergué from Brittany.Company: Cidrerie du Chateau de Lezergue
Place of Origin: Ergué-Gabéric, Cornouaille, Brittany, France
locally grown cidre apples
Package type: 
750ml clear glass champagne corked and wired bottle
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass, chalice glass, flute or bollée

Appearance: pours a clear orange with reddish hues and a white head that very quickly dissipates. Medium carbonation. Body is low to medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is strong and very sweet with notes pink apples, strawberries and wild strawberries.

Taste: my first taste is very sweet of strawberry with low to medium acidity of strawberry. Red apples and strawberries on the mid-palate. Finishes with a flavour of strawberry.

Overall: in a way, the Cidrerie du Château de Lézergué Rosé is very one-dimensional. All I could get, both on the nose and on the palate was a fantastic and hypnotizing flavour of strawberry. Actually, I don’t recall having such a fruity and powerful Rosé dominated by strawberry before. What I also enjoyed was the fruitiness, which rounded up this cidre and created balance and harmony in this cidre. But to me, this Rosé was still too sweet and as the temperature started to rise, I could barely finish it due to high sweetness. So you can’t drink much of it. Probably a smaller bottle would be a better idea for such a sweet offering. I shared this bottle with a friend and it took us a while to finish it. Taken together, it’s a good cider with a mindblowing strawberry note so if you are looking for a tasty and sweet strawberry in a bottle, this should be your pick. 4.5/6 

Availability: mainly in Brittany, France.

Price: a sample of this cidre was provided by Lucian from Cidrerie du Château de Lézergué.

Cidrerie du Léguer Premium

Cedric Le Bloas from Cidrerie du Léguer located in Lannion, Brittany, France is one of the friendliest and adorable cider makers I had the pleasure to speak with. Once I planned for my trip to Normandy, Cedric offered to bring me a box of cider so I could share it with my friends as he was visiting a friend in Domfront, Normandy at the same time. The meeting and passing the box never happened as my agenda was just too busy but I can’t help but like Cedric. His orchards are organic and untreated. In addition, Cedric makes his cidre just like his ancestors did. What’s not to like?Company: Cidrerie du Léguer
Place of Origin: Lannion, Brittany, France
organic apples grown in Brittany
Package type: 
750ml amber glass champagne corked and wired bottle
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass or chalice glass

Appearance: pours a clear vivid pale orange with a little white head that quickly dissipates. Medium carbonation. Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: moderately strong scent. On the nose fresh apples, skins of red apples, apricots, caramel, nutmeg flesh, dried fruits, a bit floral with orange and distant wood.

Taste: my first taste is slightly sweet with low acidity and spicy of fresh nutmeg flesh. Followed by smokiness, red apples, apple stems, low to medium astringency and caramel. Finishes with a note of caramel and caramel bitter with hints of green notes.

Overall: the first bottle of Premium sent to me by Cedric, had barely any carbonation and tasted sweet. Cider somehow didn’t ferment in the bottle. It happens sometimes so I didn’t want to post the review at the time as it wasn’t how this cidre is supposed to taste like. Fortunately, the second bottle provided by Cedric had bubbles and tastes how it should. It had an intense and longlasting taste, yet overall it was light. I thought it was still sweet but not sweet enough to call it too sweet. Just enough. The Premium had interesting lightly spicy notes of nutmeg flesh, smooth tannins and a unique touch of caramel bitterness, which I was especially fond of. Also, I thought it was very food friendly. The Premium is a cider I could have more often. 5/6

Availability: in the Netherlands from Pomme d’Or. Online from Calyce Cider – they ship to Germany, Belgium, Spain, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Italy and Portugal!

Price: a sample of this cidre was provided by Cedric from Cidrerie du Léguer

Galipette Cidre Brut

Perhaps it has already come to your attention that Galipette Cidre Brut is produced by Les Celliers Associés. Les Celliers Associés is a cooperative bringing together nearly 189 producers from Brittany and 212 producers from Normandy. It was set up in 1953 in Pleudihen-sur-Rance, Brittany, France and is responsible for manufacturing Val de Rance cidres. Galipette Cidre Brut is made with such cidre apples as Kermerrien, Marie Ménard or Judor.Company: Les Celliers Associés
Place of Origin: Pleudihen-sur-Rance, Brittany, France
cidre apples grown in Brittany such as Kermerrien, Marie Ménard or Judor.
Package type: 
330ml amber glass bottle with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass or chalice glass

Appearance: pours a lightly cloudy amber with a very large white head that doesn’t really dissipate. High and artificial carbonation. Body medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is strong with sweetish notes of dried apricots, cider apple juice, wood.

Taste: it starts with a moderate to high sweetness and low acidity. Followed by light smokiness, woody notes, a bit watery, light to medium astringency. Finishes with a strong note of caramel and distant low bitterness.

Overall: Galipettes Cidre Brut is a good cidre. Clearly made with cidre apples, with structure and a taste that is longlasting. The aroma is strong and pleasant. But similarly to the previously reviewed cidre Biologique from Galipette, it doesn’t stand out. Anyway, if you decide to purchase a bottle of Cidre Brut I think you won’t be disappointed. I have tried much richer tasting offerings from cider makers from Brittany so it doesn’t impress me much. But for an average cider drinker who appreciates quality and hasn’t tried many cidres from Brittany, it will be a delicious offering that will go well with Galettes, duck or simply on its own. 4/6

Availability: in the UK from Waitrose and Eebria. In the Netherlands from Drank Direct. In Sweden from Systembolaget.

Price: a sample of this cidre was provided by Cider Supply Co.

Château de Lézergué Cidre Artisanal 33cl

Cidrerie du Château de Lézergué is based in Ergué-Gabéric, Cornouaille, Brittany, France and managed by three brothers, Guillaume, Matthieu and Joseph since 1990. It’s my first time trying anything from this cider maker. 
 Cidrerie du Chateau de Lezergue
Place of Origin: Ergué-Gabéric, Cornouaille, Brittany, France
locally grown cider apples
Package type: 
330ml clear glass bottle with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: white wine glass or chalice glass

Appearance: pours a clear pale amber with a large white head that quickly reduces to a ring. Medium to high carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is moderately strong and has notes of apricots, sour red apples, raisins, caramel and hints of wood.

Taste: the first impression is medium sweet with a low to medium lemon-like acidity, which gives way to notes of low smokiness, red apples, apple juice, apricots, caramel and other dried fruits. Finishes with a light astringency and caramel with a touch of lemon, grapefruit-like bitterness, wood and fig.

Overall: I must say that Cidrerie du Château de Lézergué has created a very pleasant cidre. It has typical notes for French cider with a good level of acidity that beautifully balances out the initial sweetness and therefore doesn’t give you any sugar high. It’s a decidedly moreish cidre for everyone. I really couldn’t find anything to complain about. I’d only wish it would be available in my area. Summarizing, a very pleasant everyday cider that will go well with galettes and cheese. I would definitely buy more. 5/6

Availability: mainly in France.

Price: a sample of this cidre was provided by Lucian from Cidrerie du Château de Lézergué.

Megalithes La Flibuste

Guillaume Buisson is an entrepreneur from Brittany, who as a kid loved visiting his neighbours in Vannes as they would always open a bottle of delicious cidre for him. You know what they say, forbidden fruit tastes the sweetest. Having this sweet memory in mind, Guillaume introduced in 2016 his own cider brand, La Flibuste made from locally grown cider apple varieties. La Flibuste is a French term for freebooter or privateer, who operated in ports of Brittany and were involved in piracy-related activities such as forcing English or Spanish ships to pay tribute for passing up the Channel, stealing cargo or other valuables, but never attacking French ships. That’s why the French authorities didn’t combat them letting them live their La Flibuste-lifestyle. Company: Megalithes
Place of Origin: Saint Briac sur Mer, Brittany, France
Apples: a blend of Douce Coetligné, Douce Moen, Kermerrien, Marie Menard, Chevalier Jaune, Peau de Chien, Guillevic and Rouget de Dol
ABV: 4.5%
Package type: 330ml clear glass bottle with crown cork
Recommended type of glass: flute, chalice glass, wine glass or straight from the bottle

Appearance: pours a clear pale amber with light orange hues and white short-lived head. Medium carbonation. Body is low.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is tannic and lightly acidic with notes of red apples, overripe apples, dried fruits such as apricots, raisins and figs. Also, hints of beeswax, funk and vanilla. Smells like proper cidre.

Taste: it starts moderately sweet with low acidity. Then the taste moves to notes of oak, lightly burnt strawberry jam-like bitterness, dried fruits including apricots and figs, red apples, light smokiness and medium astringent taste. It finishes dry with a lingering jam-like bitterness, red apples and astringent taste.

Overall: La Flibuste is a true pirate that stole my heart. Brittany is known for its great cidre but I didn’t expect La Flibuste to taste as divine and sophisticated. It has a riot of flavours, which are very nicely balanced. I found the smooth strawberry burnt jam-like bitterness absolutely amazing. I know that it is difficult to imagine a bitter taste as a turn on, but it’s like someone would be waving a magic wand while you’re drinking it. It’s not disturbing at all, quite on the contrary, it gives a very nice twist. However, due to a quite low acidity, it’s better to drink La Flibuste in small quantities just like suggested 330ml and properly chilled. Otherwise, it may get too tiring if you like your cider on the drier side. But overall, a very high-quality and brilliant tipple. Highly recommended.  5/6 

Availability: currently locally in Brittany and Normandy in France. Online from Calyce Cider – they ship to Germany, Belgium, Spain, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Austria, Italy and Portugal!

Price: Gullaime contacted me and asked if I wanted to try La Filibuste.

Note: Megalithes also have a non-alcoholic version on offer of La Filibuste so you don’t have to feel excluded if you’re driving. I think it’s a great idea. Only the non-alcoholic version tastes ultra-sweet with no acidity to balance it so it’s rather an option for those having a sweet tooth.

Marks & Spencer/Guillet Frères Brittany Breton Cider

Marks & Spencer offers also French cidre from Brittany, which is produced by Guillet Frères, a company known for widely available Kerisac cidre. I have reviewed one of Kerisac cidres here. As per Marks & Spencer’s website, this cidre has won Bronze from the International Cider Challenge 2013 and a trophy and gold medal for sweet cider at the International Cider Challenge 2016.
Company: Guillet Freres 
Place of Origin: Guenrouët, Brittany, France
Apples: five different apple varieties Local Brittany apples are harvested between mid-September and early December, it’s then blended and fermented using traditional techniques.
Ingredients: Concentrated apple juice, water, yeast, carbon dioxide, sulphites.
ABV: 2%
Sweetness as per label: sweet
Package type: 750ml green glass champagne corked
Recommended type of glass: flute

Appearance: pours a clear pale orange with a white short-lived head. Champagne type of carbonation.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is sweet and has notes of dried apricot and fermented apples, with caramel.

Taste: the first sip is very sweet and has low to medium acidity. The mid-palate is syrupy and has notes of wood, dried apricot and overripe apples.

Overall: Despite the fact that this cidre is made from apple juice concentrate it doesn’t taste like one. The taste is quite complex with delicious notes of dried apricots both on the nose and the palate. It’s way too sweet for my liking and I don’t think I would buy it again, but I can’t say I didn’t enjoy it. I think it could be a good alternative if you don’t have a better cider on hand. 3.5/6 

Availability: online and locally from Marks & Spencer

Price: purchased it from Marks & Spencer in Wroclaw at 15.79 PLN (3.80 EUR)