Guzman Riestra Sidra Riestra Brut is part of the new wave of modern and experimental ciders coming out of northern Spain. Guzman Riestra, located in the Asturias region, is entering its 111th year. Their first cider press was made in 1906 by family patriarch Robustiano Riestra. Over 100 years later, the Riestra family is still making some of Asturias’ most interesting sidras.
In 2012, they introduced their first sparkling cider: Sidra Brut Nature. Using Methode Champenoise, Guzman Riestra Brut Nature represents the tart funkiness of an Asturian Sidra and the elegant sparkle of a Champagne. Methode Champenoise is one of the more complex and traditional methods of bottle conditioning. It’s a long, arduous process. First, the sidra is filtered, then bottled with a dose of special yeast and sugar for the yeast to eat. The bottle is stored in cellars while the yeast does it work and carbonates the cider to well above standard levels of CO2. Then it’s gradually riddled. This process is a rotation of the bottle as it’s gradually turned neck down. This allows the yeast to gradually gather into the next. Once the riddling is done, the neck is flash frozen and the yeast plug disgorges. The bottle is then corked and secured with a wire cage.
The process creates one of the most intense and subtle bubbles of any process as well as its own fermentation flavors.
Appearance: Bright gold
Aroma: Gentle and soft vinegar notes, caramel, tart apples, sour apples, nutty, light butter, apples, light earthy funk.
Taste: Mild+ tannins, medium+ acidity, mild+ astringency.
Overall Impression: Like a proper Sidra, Sidra Brut Nature is properly dry but has an intense spritz from the carbonation. It’s a very nice interweaving of the tart funk of a traditional Sidra and the sophisticated elegance of a fine sparkling wine. Spanish Sidra is often viewed as highly traditional, especially in American circles. And while there are whole loads of traditional sidras, there are lots of cider makers experimenting and creating new styles of Spanish Sidra. Guzman Riestra does both, and does both very well. If you want to celebrate with a flute of bubbles, explore Spanish Sidra and definitely go for a bottle of Guzman Riestra. Or if you’re just looking for something new and interesting that’s extremely tasty, it will fit that bill too.
CO2: High sparkle.
Geography: Asturias, Spain
Apples: French bittersweets and traditional Spanish varieties.
Availability: In markets where Ciders of Spain products are sold.