E.Z. Orchards ‘Pomme’ Pommeau

Review of E.Z. Orchards’ Pommeau, ‘Pomme’, an apple dessert wine (cider fortified with apple brandy).  It is my first time trying this, but I have tried Pommeaux from 2 Towns, Etienne DupontFinnriver, Stem, Tieton, Traditions, and Wandering Aengus, and have tried E.Z. Orchards’ Semi DryRoman BeautyHawk HausPoire, and Williamette Valley 2011 Cidre.

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Cider:  Pomme
Cidery:  E.Z. Orchards
Cidery Location:  Salem OR (but bottled in Rickreal OR)
ABV:  17.9%
How Supplied:  750ml bottles (with a re-usable plastic cap with attached cork)
Style:  American artisan Pommeau (cider from bittersweet cider apples, fortified with apple brandy), barrel aged for 2 years

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Availability:  Limited release, through Artisanal Imports, although in general EZ Orchards’ ciders are sold in CA, OR, and WA

Cider Description:  The body and texture of Pomme is of tree-ripened fruit and fresh baked apple, with a subtle toasted wood and winter fruit aroma. The prominent tannin structure of the fruit is defined but not overwhelming, contributing a lasting, elegant finish. The alcohol is softened by extended aging, showing warmth and livening the baked, tree-ripened apple nuance.

Here is a great article on this year’s ‘Pomme’ release, including quotes from the cidermaker, Kevin Zielinski.  Based on that info, I must have a bottle from a previous year (as this is a higher ABV), which doesn’t surprise me, as these sorts of high end releases often sell slowly.

Cidery Description:  E.Z. Orchards is a family-owned and operated farm, orchard and cidery located in Salem, Oregon. The Zielinski family has been cultivating the bounty of Willamette Valley since 1929, and began specifically growing cider apples in 2000, reshaping its entire operation around their production. Through traditional French cider-making methods, E.Z. Orchards crafts world-class, perfectly blended ciders from ground to glass. Learn more about the cidery at www.ezorchards.com.

Price:  $24
Where Bought:  Capitol Cider in Seattle WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  It was on their bottle list.  It had been on my radar as I had read about it online, where it is well reviewed.  They also offer bottle pours and flights of Pommeaux.

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First Impression:  Dark amber hue.  Still (no carbonation).  Smells of boozy syrupy rich apple juice.

Tasting Notes:  On the sweeter side of semi-dry.  Medium to full bodied.  Low tartness, acidity, tannins, and bitterness.  No sourness or funk.  Notes of caramel, brown sugar, leather, orange, coffee, vanilla, and oak.  Long warming finish.  High apple flavor, complexity, and flavor intensity.  Very low sessionability.

My Opinion:  I really enjoyed it.  Rich and complex, whats not to like?  However, it was a bit less smooth and more harsh than some others I’ve had, possibly as it is a bit drier and higher ABV.  I think this is ideally drank when well-chilled, and I even dropped in one small ice cube (which I think is acceptable as it is more brandy than cider).

Most Similar to:  Stem Ciders Pommeau 2016 release and Traditions Pommeau 2013 release (Traditions was a 2 Towns brand which has since been absorbed)

Closing Notes:  2 Towns‘ Pommeau continues to be my favorite, although I have enjoyed every Pommeaux I’ve tried.  This E.Z. Orchards Pommeau was an especially good value as it is a 750ml bottle, but costs only a few dollars more than most 375ml bottles of Pommeau.  However, I would personally prefer paying less for a smaller bottle, as it is less of a commitment, and Pommeau isn’t something I’d drink in large quantities.  This bottle did well in the fridge for the few weeks it took me to drink it, and didn’t have any flavor changes.

Have you tried Pommeau?  What did you think?