Guzman Riestra Sidra Brut Nature

I love reading stories like this. The history of Guzman Riestra stretches back to 1906 when Robustiano Riestra made a cider press from, most likely, a eucalyptus tree. Robustiano’s goal was to make sidra and sell it in a store he owned in Gijón. Over the years, the cidery has seen many transformations. It expanded, the facilities were modernized and new sidras were introduced. When Guzman Riestra took over the management in 1985 ‘Guzman’ was added to the name of the cidery. Sons of Guzman,  Raúl and Ruben, have been in charge of the company since 1985 experimenting and setting new trends in the Spanish cider world.

Today’s review is on their Brut Nature, introduced in 2012, made using Methode Champenoise, a rather unusual technique for Spanish sidra.Company: Guzman Riestra
Place of Origin: Barrio de Perea, Sariego, Asturias, Spain
Apples: apples coming from local orchards
ABV: 8%
Package type: 750ml green glass champagne corked bottle
Recommended type of glass:  flute, chalice glass or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear golden with a white frothy head that quickly dissipates. High carbonation. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is rich and sweetish with notes of oak, vinegar, juicy apple, red apple and candy. In the background notes of funk and leather.

Taste: it starts dry with low residual sweetness and moderately acidic with a flavour of crisp apple, lemon juice and only distant vinegar. The mid-palate has red ripe juicy apples, a medium astringent taste and a smoky note with blood orange and grapefruit peel. In the aftertaste, a delicate grapefruit-like bitterness appears leaving a lingering chalky taste.

Overall: Sidra Brut Nature from Guzman Riestra has an exceptionally sophisticated and balanced palate full of refreshing citrus fruits and ripe apples. Every sip reveals a new taste and is like an in-depth exploration of many layers of flavours. It’s like French Champagne meets Spanish sidra. Dry and citrusy refreshing with some residual sweetness will appeal to larger audiences. Perfect for any kind of celebration. I would buy more. 4.5/6

Availability: through Sidra.Shop, Sidra y Sidras, Disbealsan. In the Netherlands from Cider Cider.

Price: purchased online from Ciderwinkel. It was one of the sidras in the Spanish discovery box.


Longueville House Cider

Michael O’Callaghan had a vision. He wanted to create an apple brandy, a product similar to French Calvados. The only one in Ireland. So, in 1985 he planted a cider apple orchard on his farm on the banks of the River Blackwater in Mallow, County Cork. Nowadays his son William leads the business. Not only he continues his father’s legacy, but he also expanded the product range to naturally-made cider. O’Callaghan’s cider, which is sold as Longueville House Cider, is produced on the farm by the cider maker Dan Duggan.
Longueville House
Place of Origin: Mallow, Cork, Ireland
Apples: a blend of Michelin and Dabinett varieties
Sweetness as per label: medium dry
ABV: 5%
Package type: 500ml brown glass with crown cap
Recommended type of glass: pint glass, white wine glass or snifter

Appearance: pours a lightly cloudy amber with orange hues and a short-lived head. Medium carbonated. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is rich and has notes of barnyard, lemon, both red apple skin and red sour apples. I can also get a very distant vinegary flavour. Very pleasant and inviting aroma.

Taste: it starts with a pleasant light sweetness and a moderate acidity with a lemon touch. Then a taste of fermented red apples, some barnyard, smoky cheese and a distant solvent-like note appear followed by a very light watery flavour, notes of wood and a moderate to high mouth-puckering astringency. The finish is dry with a lingering astringency, a flavour of wood and a gentle bitter touch.

Overall: Longueville House Cider simply tastes excellent! Spectacular! It’s the first Irish cider I truly enjoyed. It’s beautifully balanced with lots of depth and rich flavours complementing each other. This cider will simply appeal to everyone. Not too sweet, not too dry, not too sour and not too funky. It looks like the list of my favourite ciders has just expanded. Indeed, Longueville House Cider is one of Ireland’s best ciders. Bravo! I’m gonna order some more once I gain more room in the cellar. 5.5/6 

Availability: locally in Ireland in a number of restaurants/pubs/shops such as Joyce’s Supermarkets, O’Briens Wines or Super Valu Store. Online in Ireland from Ardkeen Quality Food Store, and in the Netherlands (and other European countries upon request) from Ciderwinkel.

Price: purchased online at 5.95 EUR from Ciderwinkel

Mayador Produccion Limitada Cosecha 2014

Bodegas Mayador was founded in 1939 by Manuel Busto Amandi in a small town of Villaviciosa, which as many other Spanish cider producers are located in Asturias. Today I am reviewing the Production Limitada Cosecha 2014, which was slowly fermented in chestnut barrels from selected Asturian apples following 14 months of maturation.Company: Bodegas Mayador
Place of Origin: Villaviciosa, Asturias, Spain
Apples: selected apples
Sweetness as per label: semi-dry
ABV: 5%
Package type: 750ml green champagne corked bottle
Recommended type of glass: flute, snifter or white wine glass

Appearance: pours a clear golden with orange hues and no head. Lightly sparkling. Body is medium.

Aroma/Nose: the nose is rather dry and has overripe apples with a mild acetic note. Also, I can sense a delicate herbal note with some funk and a touch of wood.

Taste: it starts moderately sweet with a moderate acetic-acidity, which breaks the sweetness. Overripe red apples with herbs, pear and something spicy with a watery taste and a touch of smoked cheese and wood on the mid-palate. The finish is dry and slightly astringent with light and pleasant lingering bitterness.

Overall: Delicious sidra, which will most likely appeal to everyone. Perhaps doesn’t taste spectacular, but I enjoyed it nevertheless. Produccion Limitada is refreshing and crisp with a nice balance of sweetness and acidity. Tastes great on a hot summer day even without any food. I’m sure it wood pair well with something spicy. I would like to have it again one day. 4.5/6 

Availability: Produccion Limitada can be purchased from Ciderwinkel or La Sidra.

Price: purchased online from Ciderwinkel. Mayador Produccion Limitada was one of the sidras in the Spanish discovery box.