Cidrerie du Vulcain Trois Pépins

Review of Cidrerie du Vulcain’s Trois Pépins, made from 3 pommes – apples, pears, and quince, from Switzerland.  It is my first time trying this variety, but I’ve had their Transparente and Premiers Emois.  This is the only Swiss cidery I know of which distributes to the U.S., although its far from the only Swiss cidery (check out Cider Explorer’s Swiss cider reviews).

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Cider: Trois Pépins
Cidery:  Cidrerie du Vulcain
Cidery Location:  Fribourg, Switzerland
ABV:  7.1%
How Supplied:  750ml corked & caged bottles
Style:  Swiss orchard-based craft heritage apple/pear/quince cider, partial wild yeast fermentation

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Availability:  limited in the U.S.

Cider Description:  Varieties: Combination in equal parts of apples, pears, and quince.  Terroir: Deep molasse over Valais schist, or moraine gravel mixed with brown clay soil.  Agriculture: Foraged, untreated, high-branched (1.8 to 2m) trees.  Cider-making: Indigenous yeast partial fermentation in stainless steel tanks. Two to three light filtrations ensure that the desired residual sugar levels are attained. Natural prise de mousse in bottle. Low sulfur additions (about 20mg/L) before bottling.  Sweetness: Labelled as sec, tastes dry.

Cidery Description:  Location: Fribourg, Switzerland.  Origin of Name: the local Vulcain (Red Admiral) butterfly that feeds on the juice of fallen apples.  Total Trees: 150- 200.  Fruits: Local heritage varieties of apples, pears, and quinces.  Agriculture: Organic.  Vinification: Indigenous yeasts, méthode ancestrale, light Kieselguhr or diactomaceous earth filtration.  See here for more info.

Price:  $28
Where Bought:  Bushel & Bee Taproom, which is one of my two favorite places to shop for cider in Leavenworth.  The other is Broken Barrel, where I also had my husband pick me up some bottles during this same trip, but I’ve already reviewed them – Manchester Road 42 and Manoir de Grandouet Cidre Fermier Brut.
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  When my husband was in Leavenworth, he took photos of bottles for me to pick from.  Just from the front cidery label (as they only label type on the back) I knew I wanted multiple bottles, as I absolutely loved the other 2 ciders I’ve tried from this cidery, and haven’t found them locally, only when traveling.

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First Impression:  Yellow-amber hue.  Very high carbonation and foam.  Smells of citrus and pear.

Tasting Notes:  Semi-dry to semi-sweet.  Light bodied with a fluffy frothy texture characteristic of methode champenoise.  Moderate tartness.  High acidity.  Hints of funk and tannins.  No bitterness or sourness.  Notes of citrus ish (presumably from the quince), ripe pear, green apple, and floral.  Moderate length finish.  Low apple flavor.  Moderate pear flavor, sessionability, complexity, and overall flavor intensity.

My Opinion:  I liked it.  Tons of citrus flavor, which isn’t very common in ciders.  Lovely mouthfeel, reminiscent of French cider, like Vulcain’s other ciders.

Most Similar to:  Although I’ve had another apple/pear/quince cider, Alpenfire 3 Pommes, they varied quite a bit.  Both are pear forward.  However, the quince came through more as tropical fruit & honey in the Alpenfire, instead of citrus for the Vulcain.  Plus, the apple flavor was prominent and heirloom for the Alpenfire, instead of subtle and green for the Vulcain.  Also, the Alpenfire was quite wine-like, while the Vulcain is reminiscent of French cider, probably primarily due to the mouthfeel.

Closing Notes:  I prefer Cidrerie du Vulcain’s purely apple ciders, although I enjoyed trying this super unique selection.

Have you tried any Swiss cider?  What did you think?

Cidrerie du Vulcain Premiers Emois

Review of Cidrerie du Vulcain’s Premiers Emois, from Switzerland.  Its my first time trying this cider, but I have previously tasted their Transparente.

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Cider:  Premiers Emois
Cidery:  Cidrerie du Vulcain
Cidery Location:  Le Mouret, Switzerland
ABV:  7.1%
How Supplied:  750ml corked & caged bottles
Style:  Swiss Doux (sweet) sparkling cider, with Organic native heirloom apples, wild yeast fermented, made using traditional methods

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Availability:  unknown

Cider Description:  Delicate aromas of apples. A note of ash. A note of something the color green: mountain plants that change with air into walnut husk. But everything is hinted at. It’s aptly named. Premiers Emois: the first stirrings of love, of infatuation. It’s a blushing bouquet. On the front palate it is a little weightier than Transparente and it is a tad sweeter. But even though it says doux, it tastes demi-sec. It is the softest of the bunch, with great fruit, no astringency, and the least pronounced saltiness. Lovely, affectionate, secretive. It’s like holding hands, like one’s premiers emois. Pair after winter with the first warm rays of sun, and with all spring afternoons thereafter.

Here is more info on the cider.

Apple Varieties:  Bohnapfel, Pomme Raisin, Boskop, and Engishofer

Cidery Description:  Cidrerie du Vulcain was started in 2006 by Jacques Perritaz.  The cidery’s name is from the local Vulcan butterfly that feeds on the juice of fallen apples.  Here is a more info on the cidery.

Price:  50% off $18.99
Where Bought:  Downtown Spirits in Seattle WA
Where Drank:  home
How Found:  Browsing, after Rev Nat’s cider class during WA Cider Week 2017.  They had a great selection of ciders on a 50% off shelf, and I bought most of them (including Eric Bordelet, Slyboro, Alpenfire, and this one).

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First Impression:  Light orange gold hue.  Moderate to high carbonation, tiny bubbles, with some foam.  Smells fruity, of yeast, with a hint of funk.

Tasting Notes:  On the drier side of semi-sweet.  Medium bodied with a fluffy texture.  Low tartness.  Low to moderate acidity.  Hints of tannins and funk.  No bitterness or sourness.  Notes of pear, pineapple, strawberry, mango, and a hint of creaminess.  Moderate length finish.  Moderate apple flavor.  High sessionability.  Moderate to high flavor intensity and and complexity.

My Opinion:  Awesome!  I drank this entire bottle by myself, and it disappeared way too quickly.  I especially loved the flavor and texture.  It was very complex and immensely fruity.

Most Similar to:  The texture (natural high carbonation) and scent reminded me of French cider, but it was missing the apple and yeast forward flavor of a French cider.  The most similar U.S. cider I’ve had is Eve’s Rustica, which I also really enjoyed.

Closing Notes:   This is the only Swiss cidery I’ve seen ciders from in the U.S.

Have you tried any Swiss ciders, such as from Cidrerie du Vulcain?  What did you think?