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Haykin Family Ciders’ 2018 Method Ancestrale Ela Family Farms Cuvee

This week’s cider was part of a small birthday dinner for a dear friend. It still feels new to me to host little parties again, but it’s the most delicious kind of new. This time of year is perfect for it. I have more tomatoes than I’ve ever had access to in my life, and bread baking is very dinner-party friendly. Plus, my cider stores are rather brimming from all of the dinner parties I haven’t hosted for the past 18 months. This meal got accidentally planned around focaccia bread, the birthday lady’s caprese salad, and my desire to break into a bottle of Haykin Family Cider.

Haykin Family Cider comes to us from Colorado. The cidery is extremely well-decorated from many GLINTCAP wins over the years. The cidery was founded by Talia and Daniel Haykin in Aurora, Colorado. You can visit a tasting room, order Haykin Family Cider online or join the cider club. This cider was shared with me for review, but as always my opinions are my own.

I’ve only ever reviewed Haykin Family Cider’s Harrow Pear before: http://alongcameacider.blogspot.com/2019/06/perry-reviews-haykin-family-ciders.html

You can visit the cidery online: https://www.haykinfamilycider.com/

Here’s Haykin Family Ciders’ official description for the 2018 Method Ancestrale Ela Family Farms Cuvee.

A blend from Ela Family Farms, a fourth generation Colorado fruit grower, including Cox’s Orange Pippin, Ashmead’s Kernel, Jonathan, Golden Delicious and others. This sparkling cider boasts the character of pear, banana, cardamom, lime, and substantial minerality. This bottle was aged 15 months sur lees and disgorged by hand. This cider is semi-dry. 5% of sales of this cider goes back to Steve Ela and Ela Family Farms to help rebuild their orchard after a devastating frost. 7.9% ABV.

Appearance: Slightly hazy, gentle warm straw, bubbly

The Ela Family Farms Cuvée looks decidedly bubbly. I had to pour a second time to make sure we got enough cider and not just lovely frothy bubbles in our glasses. The color is gently warm straw; it isn’t intense. The cider is just a bit hazy and gets more so towards the end of the bottle.

Aromas: Mellow mineral, spices, ripe apple, lemon, honey

I’m expecting something mellow and structured based on what I smell in this cider. Immediately, I get notes of minerals, spices, ripe apples, lemon, and honey. My appetite is most decidedly whetted.

Sweetness/dryness: Semi-dry/semi-sweet

The level of sweetness on this cider surprised me. I thought it would be drier, but while this is semi-dry it’s nearly semi-sweet. Lots of fruit flavors are accessed through the cider’s sweetness.

Flavors and drinking experience: high tannins, medium high acid, woody, minerals, creamy

What a heavenly journey. This cider rolls across my palate with lushness and surprises. At first I was surprised by how near to a semi-sweet cider these tastes. The Ela Family Farms Cuvee follows that surprise with high tannins and medium acidity. I love the excellent sparkle that can only be obtained with the laborious Method Ancestrale. This cider gifts us notes of wood, minerals orange peel, banana, and ripe apple. I love little touches of bitterness that layer between the fruit flavors. The finish is creamy and perfumed. All in all, this cider is such a neat mix of gentleness and firm structure.

We paired this cider with herbed focaccia bread, caprese salad, sauteed zucchini and cauliflower, and veggieful pasta dish with feta. It was a full-flavored summery meal with a cider pairing well matched for the zesty bright garden flavors. What a treat!

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