BRIGHT & FRESH
METHODE CIDER, 2016
Everyone knows the clarity and vivacity of Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc. The piercing green fruits and punchy acidity. Well, translate that to the cider world and you're getting close to the electrifying effect of Abel's Methode Cider.
Citrus aromas of depth and breadth continue onto the palate, where they open up to become lime and lemon with hints of orange zest. There's a definite green apple tang - no yellow apple flavours here.
But where does that piercing quality come from? Founders Mark and Sophie McGill both hail from winemaking backgrounds, and that's certainly played a part. Their young family brought them back to New Zealand, where they both grew up. Now they combine the worlds of cider and wine. The fruit is grown in orchards in the north-western corner of the South Island, named after the local Abel Tasman National Park.
'It's about taking care of the fruit, when we treat with kid gloves,' Mark tells me. And taking a big hit on yields because of their unique way of fermenting their cider. Instead of pressing the pulp before fermenting, they press after, reckoning this way the will achieve the maximum flavours, aromas and intensity from the skins. 'We don't know anyone else making cider like this. Probably because it does cut your yields significantly,' says Mark. They achieve around 500 litres (132 gallons) from a tonne of fruit, rather than the more normal 750 litres (200 gallons).
It took seven years to perfect Abel Methode Cider. Mark continues to experiment every vintage, with new varieties and new techniques. 'Maybe in three to five years we will have another cider', he says. '... maybe!'
Extract from The Cider Insider, The essential guide to 100 craft ciders to drink now.
By Susanna Forbes https://twitter.com/DrinkBritain; Quadrille, available from smarturl.it/ciderinsider
Mark & Sophie make cider in the sunny Tasman region at the top of New Zealand's South Island.