Today marks the first Asturian cider I’ve reviewed at ithinkaboutcider.com. I’ve long been quite passionate about Basque cider but haven’t tried many of the ciders from the neighboring region of Asturias. Asturias is theother major cider region of Spain, and like its neighbor in the Basque region, has its own language that is distinct from the common Spanish and Catalan languages. However unlike Basque, Asturian falls into the category of a Romance language like the other languages spoken in Spain. It’s estimated that 100,000 people speak Asturian as a primary language and another half million as a secondary language.
Situated on the north coast of Spain between Galicia and the Basque Region, Asturias has a similar and shared cider culture with their Basque and Galician neighbors in both apple varieties and production methods. While other European cider traditions focus on the use of Bittersweet apples as a majority flavor component, Spanish ciders focus more on sharp varieties of apples which give a much more acidic flavor profile. To further accentuate this, they use very natural fermentation process that focus on wild yeast and bacteria that increase the funky aromas and the acidity of the final product. The big difference between the who cider producing neighbors, besides language, is that the Basque ciders, know as Sagardoa, have a higher level of volatile acids making them funkier and sharper than their more restrained Asturian counterparts.
Yesteraday, the GLINTCAP results, the world’s largest Cider judging contest, came out; and I saw that Mayador‘s Sidra Natural was a highly commended best in class winner for Old World cider. This sounded like the perfect opportunity to try the bottle of Mayador Limited Production sparkling Sidra I had in the refrigerator.
Mayador was founded in 1939 by Manuel Busto Amandi under the name of M. Busto. Later with subsequent expansions, they changed their name to Mayador. Today the company produces a range of natural and traditional ciders as well a range of more modern styles along with a variety of sparkling juices. Their Limited Production sidra is a modern twist on the classic Sidra Natural. Lightly filtered and naturally carbonated, Limited Production is a sparkling Asturian Sidra that takes the Sidra Natural to a new stylistic audience.
Aroma: White wine, melon, light vinegar notes, buttery hints, tart apples, light funk.
Taste: Mild tannins, medium acidity, mild to medium astringency.
Overall Impression: The Limited Production is unique mix of sparkling cider and classic Sidra Natural. It has a lot of the flavors and aromas of a Sidra Natural but they’re moderated and augmented by the sparkling process a very interesting Sidra. The sparkle gives the Sidra a very round mouthfeel with a nice sweet/tart balance. For the quality of the cider, this is a ridiculously inexpensive bottle. I think I paid around $9 US for the 750ml bottle. I would highly recommend you picking this up. It works on multiple levels: as a softer introduction to the flavors in a Sidra Natural and as an entirely lovely product in its own right. You can’t go wrong with this one! My next stop will be their Sidra Natural.
CO2 Levels: Medium sparkle
Geography: Asturias, Spain
Apples: Unknown Asturian varietals
Availability: In limited quantities where ciders from Winesellers, LTD are sold.