Review of Art+Science Symbiosis cider, 50% apple + 50% grape. It is my first time trying anything from this cidery.
Cider: Symbiosis, 2015
Cidery Location: Sheridan OR
How Supplied: 750ml crown capped bottle with attached flip top
Ingredients: 50% foraged apple + 50% Grüner Veltliner white grape
Style: American craft apple & grape wine, wild yeast fermented, ancestral method, white wine barrel aged for 10 months, secondary fermentation in bottle
Availability: Oregon (especially Portland), California, Washington, New Orleans LA, and New York NY, plus online sales
Cider Description: Symbiosis: any type of a close and long-term biological interaction between two different species, be it mutualistic, commensalistic, or parasitic. Symbiosis is made from foraged apples in the Willamette Valley and Grüner Veltliner grown at Johan Vineyards in the Willamette Valley. Grüner Veltliner is the most widely planted white grape in Austria. The apples are milled and pressed and the apple juice is added to the destemmed and crushed Grüner Veltliner. It is 50% apples and 50% white grapes and is naturally fermented with native yeast on the skins of the gruner for 3 weeks then aged in used white wine barrels for 10 months. Then it is re-sweetened and put in bottle to finish a secondary fermentation to add some carbonation. This beverage is made with no added acid, no forced carbonation and no pasteurization. It is the most vinous cider we produce with great mid pallet weight. Take a sip and take a breath of fresh air…..
Cidery Description: Welcome to Art+Science! We are natural cider, perry, and wine producers using primarily foraged fruit & fermenting with indigenous yeast in rural Yamhill County, Oregon. We are working towards building a tasting room in 2018, but we welcome visitors by appointment to drink at our kitchen table with us!
They are associated with Roshamboart Farm and started commercially making wine in 2011 and cider in 2013.
First Impression: Moderate hazy yellow hue. Low carbonation. Smells of citrus, vinegar, and yeast.
Tasting Notes: Semi-dry. Light to medium bodied. Low to moderate tartness. Moderate acidity. Low sourness, tannins, bitterness, and funk. Notes of grapefruit, lemon, honey, yeast, white grape, vinegar, oak, must, and cork. Long warming sour finish. Moderate flavor intensity. Low apple & grape flavor, barrel influence, and sessionability. Moderate to high complexity.
My Opinion: I was ambivalent about this cider. I didn’t dislike it, but I wouldn’t choose it again. It was definitely nice to try though, and very unique, wine-like. A lot of effort obviously went into producing it. I would recommend this cider for folks who enjoy a more rustic farmhouse-style cider and/or Spanish Sidra. Note that this was the front of the palate sourness, not as brash (to me at least) as Sidra, but did have a bit of that vinegar type flavor.
Most Similar to: The only white grape cider I think I’ve had is 2 Towns Cidre Moscato (with Muscat grapes), but I’m not sure that was co-fermented, and it was a completely different style. However, the rustic (wild fermented) style of this cider reminded me of Runcible Cider Light of the Moon, Alpenfire Pirate’s Plank, Angry Orchard Walden Hollow, and Wrangletown Cider Co.’s lineup. The other ciders I’ve had with a white grape flavor were sweeter & fruity, which this cider was not.
Closing Notes: At the same shop I also picked up a bottle of Art+Science’s 100% Quince cider (although in that case it would just be fruit wine). Their website says they are distributed in WA, and I was told it was through ‘Walden’, but I don’t think I’ve spotted anything made by them yet.
Have you tried Art+Science Symbiosis? What did you think?