A cidery producing an ice cider isn't odd. In fact, one might assume that most cideries make one, right? On the other hand, the fact that a winery like Cayuga Lake's Sheldrake Point Vineyard, a well-regarded winery known for producing a variety of grape wines, makes one is pretty unique.
In fact, it might seem downright weird until you learn that general manager Bob Madill is Canadian.
As winemaker Dave Breeden puts it "You can't swing a dead cat in Montreal without hitting 20 or so ice ciders."
Sheldrake Point 2008 Ice Apple Splash ($20) is made with 48% Mutsu, 31% Liberty, 13% Dabinette and 8% Harry Master’s Jersey apples, all grown at Cornell Orchards.
Apparently, making ice cider isn't all that much different than making ice wine. According to Breeden the process is "Very similar to grape ice wines. Maybe even the same. The main difference was that we started with juice, rather than grapes, since I don't know how to press frozen apples."
If the Eve's rendition is like caramel apple pie without the crust, this one is more like the experience of biting into a perfectly ripe, perfectly balanced sweet-tart apple.
The nose and flavors are intense and pure with fresh apples and pears with subtle hints of something almost floral, but not quite so.
It's decidely sweet at 16.3% residual sugar, but also very well balanced by that bite-into-an-apple acidity. With a long, lively, apple-y finish, it seems the perfect foil for apple-based desserts, blue cheese and even cheddar.
Producer: Sheldrake Point Vineyard
Harvest Brix: 13.5
Post-Freeze Brix: 43
TA (final): 14 g/l
Case Production: 185 (375ml bottles)
Rating: (3 out of 5 | Recommended)