2015 L’Orpheline ‘Sauvage’ sparkling cider now available

It is with some pride that we are now ‘officially’ releasing our 2015 L’Orpheline Sauvage sparkling cider. It is without doubt our best cider yet, with a little dance of bubbles on the palette, a clean taste and dry finish. I like to explain to people that it is best appreciated as ‘champagne’ made from apples, because it is probably the apéro most similar to that famous bubbly wine from France.

This year’s Sauvage is made from two apple varieties — red Jonathan & granny smith — and it is about 7% alcohol by volume (a little stronger, but smoother, than the 2014 vintage).

I also tried something a little different this year, but you need a little Cider-Making 101 to understand why this change was important.

Unlike in the juice from grapes, wild yeasts (and we only ever use wild-yeast fermentation in the barrel) tend to have a little trouble surviving on apple juice alone, which means that ciders fermented this natural way tend to finish fermenting well before all the sugars are consumed. This results in ciders that tend to be on the sweet side, and also why completely dry ciders like L’Orpheline are exceedingly rare (especially in Australia; think of the ciders you typically get on tap in the pub).

It is for this reason that we add a little nutrient during the ferment so those lovely little alcohol factories can survive right through to the exhaustion of all the sugars. In the past I’ve used a tiny amount of commercial yeast nutrient to achieve this, but I’ve always been a little suspicious of what goes into that concoction.

Last year, however, a little research revealed that the broth produced by simmering organic sultanas is a natural alternative to commercial nutrient. This makes sense of course because grapes have everything that yeast need (e.g., proteins, trace elements, etc.) to survive the full fermentation cycle.

I know what you might be thinking — cider with grape juice? You needn’t worry though — the amount we add is < 1 % by volume, so it doesn’t affect the flavour one jot, except to produce the cleanest, driest, most satisfyingly crisp apple bubbly you’ll ever taste.

As you can most likely deduce, I’m rather proud of our newest vintage. We’ve only made four barrels this year, so we recommend that you get your orders in soon. It’s already being sold at Press and Flinders Street Project in Adelaide, so if you happen to be eating there, don’t hesitate to order a glass. I know you’ll enjoy it as much as we do.

Contact us to order some today — we also deliver if you’re in or live near Adelaide.


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