Review of Manoir De Montreuil Cambremer, a cidre from Normandy France (and yes I’m very glad I only need to spell it correctly, not try to pronounce it!). I’m typically more of a fan of Breton than Normand French cidres, but the reviews of this one caught my interest.
Cidery: Manoir De Montreuil
Cidery Location: Cidre Pays d’Auge, Normandy, France
ABV: 4.5% or 5.0% (the front & back labels contradicted themselves)
How Supplied: 750ml corked & caged champagne bottle
Style: keeved Normand French cidre
Availability: semi wide release, international
Description: The Giard family has been producing Calvados in the Pays d’Auge for 11 generations. The Domaine du Montreuil orchard was planted on land formerly covered by the sea, hence its distinctive mineral flavor. They produce this cider in vats that are more than a century old, so you’re getting the classic, traditional-style cider of this region, although it is not too funky. Rustic yes, delicious yes, authentic yes, expensive no.
Where Bought: Full Throttle Bottles
Where Drank: home
How Found: Browsing. I’m a fan of sweet, bubbly, and rich French ciders, and after looking this one up, it sounded like I’d enjoy it.
First Impression: Pale caramel amber hue. Moderate to high carbonation and foam. Smells yeasty and a bit funky, although fairly simple–mainly of baked apples.
Tasting Notes: Semi-dry to semi-sweet. Frothy mouthfeel/texture. Light to medium bodied. Low tartness, acidity, funk, and tannins. No sourness or bitterness. Notes of yeast, baked apple, honey, and caramel. Quick finish length. Moderate apple flavor. Moderate sessionability. Moderate flavor intensity.
My Opinion: The taste of this cider seemed quite in between typical Breton (Brittany) and Normand (Normandy) French ciders. It had the sweetness and approachability of a Breton cider, with a bit of funk of a Normand cider. It avoided the sourness and strong funk of some other Normand ciders I’ve tried though. I don’t mind a bit of funk (often referred to as “barnyard” flavor), but I haven’t yet acquired the taste for sour ciders. Surprisingly my husband was much more put off by the scent of it than I was.
Most Similar to: Other French ciders. It reminds me a lot of Celt, with a bit of funk and more yeast.
Closing Notes: This was a unique and enjoyable cider. It showed me that not all Normand ciders are strongly sour, funky, and dry.
Have you tried any French ciders? What did you think?