Ciderman by Cyril Zangs is unusual in both its packaging and the product within it. Very few serious or traditional French cidres are packaged in 330ml, but as producers try to reach more consumers, more are investigating a more single serve option that’s both more friendly for the price point as well as finishable in one sitting for one person. Another difference is the slightly higher alcohol of 6% ABV, which is a level more consistent with ciders in the US.
Cyril Zangs is part of the new wave of French cider makers returning to their family roots. Much like Eric Bordelet, Cyril had left the family farm in Normandie to pursue a career in Paris. In Cyril Zangs’ case, he left a career as a bookseller when he returned to his roots.
He uses 69 different cider apple varietals and hand picks them at the peak of ripeness to ensure that each apple is in ideal shape for his ciders. He produces many different ciders ranging from a blend of all his apples and geographies to more specific single orchard offerings. Zangs also produces an apple brand Eau de Vie. It’s possible that eventually Calvados, eau de vie aged in oak barrels, will be available.
Appearance: Gold, light haze.
Aroma: Woody, baked apple, light caramel, floral, white cherries.
Taste: Medium+ tannins, medium acidity, medium + astringency.
Overall Impression: While still distinctly French in nature, Ciderman represent a new direction in trying to meld traditional French cidre sensibilities with modern drinkers’ desire for bigger and bolder flavors with a touch more alcohol. It still has a bit of traditional French wild fermentation flavors and aroma, but trends more towards big, complex apple notes. The higher alcohol also gives the cider a drier feel as more of the sugar is consumed. Zangs calls it a “Brut.”
Geography: Calvados, Normandie
Apples: French Cidre Varietals
Availability: Nationally where Selection Massale products are carried.