Cider: Val d’Ornón Sidra de Asturias Natural
Maker: Sidra Menéndez
Origin: Asturias, Spain
ABV: 6% Bottle: 700 ml, with cork
Makers Style Notes: Product certified by the Council of the “PDO Sidra de Asturias”. Hand picked apples. Fermented using indigenous yeasts. Fermentation in chestnut wood barrels. Tasting Notes: Straw yellow, clean and fruity scent reminiscent of the origin of the fruit.
Makers Fruit Notes: Selection of some of the 22 varieties permitted by the Regulatory Council, including Raxao, Regona, Perico, Carrio, seeking a balance between those that are acidic, bitter and sweet.
Our Tasting Notes: May 10, 2013.
In The Glass: Cloudy, unfiltered, straw. Tiny bubbles visible only on the surface.
Aroma & Taste: Flavors: From 0 Low – 9 High: Val d’Ornón Sidra scores: Sour Butter 7-8, Leather/Tanned Hides 6, Hay 5, Latent Acidity 4, Fresh/Raw Dessert Apple 3.
5 Tastes Scale: From 0 Low – 9 High: Val d’Ornón Sidra scores: Salty 5-6, Bitter 4.5, Sour 3, Sweet 2, Umami 1.
Our Pairings – The Tasting Lab: Classic match with fiery chorizo and garlicy bitter greens, followed by sweet creamy blue & salty pressed rind cheeses, charred toasts and raw Granny Smith apple slices. Val d’Ornón Sidra is right at home with this simple, rustic country fare.
Overall Impressions: Funk forward with blossoming apple flavors. Old World style with balanced astringency and acid. Another cider that got us thinking about the similarities and differences between Spain’s Asturian sidras and the UK’s 3 Counties ciders, pondering the presence, quality, and unique expression of acidity in these two traditional regional cider styles.
To explore further: Why traditional Asturian sidras do not explore or develop the ‘sweet’ aspect of the pome fruit, instead embracing acidity without the tannic/bitter balance found in traditional UK ciders. Is this solely a result of the properties of Asturian cider apples? Or something else? Perhaps a Spanish chef, cidermaker, or Asturian/Basque food culture historian can provide insight.
Apple images from www.sidradeasturias.es Apples shown: Carrio (top) Perico (below)
Sidra Menéndez Val d’Ornón Sidra de Asturias Natural video: