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