Review of Devoto Orchards 1976 Semi-Dry cider. It is my first time trying any of their cider. I picked up this bottle in California over Christmas break. Here is an article about the cidery.
Cider: 1976 Semi-Dry cider (2014 harvest)
Cidery: Devoto Orchards
Cidery Location: Sebastopol CA
How Supplied: 750ml clear glass screw-top wine bottle
Style: American Organic craft cider from heirloom apples
Availability: only in Northern California and a few online retailers (see here)
Cider Description: 1976 is a homage to the year Stan & Susan Devoto left Berkeley to move ‘back to the land’ and planted our family’s first orchard in west Sonoma County. Visionaries of their time, they valued biodiversity and cultivated vegetables, flowers, and 55 heirloom apple varieties that we still grow today. Every year to honor them, we craft a small batch of this special semi-dry cider blended from those original apple varieties they planted almost 40 years ago.
Profiles: Aromas of ripe tropical fruit lead to a creamy texture and lush fruit on the palate finished with soft tannins.
Pairings: green curry, spicy Vietnamese noodle soup, ceviche, green papaya salad, bean salads and stews, anything good and spicy.
Cheese Pairings: Meadow Creek Mountaineer (VA), Consider Bardwell Rupert (VT), Thistle Hill Tarentaise (VT)
Apple Blend: Pink Pearl, Gravenstein, Hubbardston Nonesuch
Cidery Description: We’re a farm and cidery in west Sonoma County. To make the best cider, your family better be, well, a tree.
Where Bought: a natural grocery store outside of Sacramento CA
Where Drank: home
How Found: Browsing. It was my first time seeing their cider.
First Impression: Medium straw yellow hue. Still (no carbonation). Smells mild, of white grape, pineapple, and honey.
Tasting Notes: Semi-dry to semi-sweet. Light to medium bodied. Low tartness. Moderate acidity. Hints of bitterness and tannins. No sourness or funk. Notes of white grape, pineapple, peach, and honey. Quick finish. Low flavor intensity. Low complexity. High sessionability. No apple flavor.
My Opinion: I thought this was average. It was wine-like and food friendly (ie. mild). I liked the flavor notes, but it wasn’t really cider-like.
Most Similar to: This cider didn’t really remind me of cider at all…it tasted most similar to watered down sweet white wine (like Moscato), as it was thinner bodied, low in flavor intensity, and had a lot of slightly sharp white grape notes.
Closing Notes: This cider was a great value for being made in small batches from organically farmed heirloom apple varieties. They also make at least two other varieties, Cidre Noir and Save the Gravenstein.
Have you tried Devoto Orchards cider? What did you think?