Vintage Roots -
A wonderful mixed case of drinks celebrating the diversity of apples and pears, during this harvest time. These are a far cry from the mass produced industrial style ciders that are often made from imported apple concentrate, or flavoured with sugary exotic fruits. This selection is all about purity, and getting the most out of the natural fruits. Perry trees easily identified by their great height and cascading white blossom, can reach a grand age of 300 plus years and are capable of producing over a ton of pears per tree. The Dunkertons orchards developed by Ivor and Susie Dunkertons over 30 years ago include quirky sounding varieties, such as Merrylegs (a favourite!), Red Horse, Painted Lady and Thorn. Their fragrant and delicate gently sparkling Perry should be drunk lightly chilled, and with some caution at over 7%!
By contrast the naturally sparkling Normandy cider in 75cl bottle with champagne cork is a mere 5.3% alcohol. Deliciously refreshing and drinkable, it is unpasteurised and made with no added sulphur.
The rest of the case is made up two bottles each of four different ciders. Dunkertons Premium Reserve (6.8%) is a full-bodied, blended varietal cider, made solely from the eponymous apple tree, which gives firm-fleshed apples with good acidity. Gasping Goose is made at the Newton Court estate, also in Herefordshire, where the home-grown apples and pressed, fermented and bottled on site with loving care. It is light and refreshing at 4.8%. Wyld Wood Organic (6%) is matured in old oak vats, giving a soft, easy-drinking style. Sheppy’s from Somerset at 6% is more medium dry, and lends itself very well to enjoying with food.