I’ve been away from my neighborhood for the past couple of weeks (potato bug infestation, don’t ask) and was cut off from my favorite cider supply-lines. I rescued as many bottles as I could carry out before the fumigation tent went up and I was forced to vacate.
Stranded at my temporary residence, I quickly ran out of the good stuff. Desperate, I was forced to trek to the nearby Whole Foods (yeah, I know, I know) to see what they were carrying. I was relieved to see they had some selections from Millstone Cellars. Phew! I grabbed a bottle of the Hopvine (with honey and hops) and a bottle of their Farmgate.
Here’s the label description of the Farmgate:
Unfiltered American rustic oak barrel fermented and aged cider with a blend of our tart heirloom cider apples. A sharp and funky recreation of pure flavors, farm values, and heritage.
The apples in question, according to the label, are Jonathan, Stayman Winesap, and Northern Spy.
(Image via Salt Spring Apple Company)
As I’d mentioned earlier, I’ve been trying to learn more about apple varities. Here’s what my main man Claude Jolicoeur says about Northern Spy:
A classic American late-season apple with notable reistance to fireblight, a good source of acid where needed in blending and popular as a pie apple.
Of the Jonatahn, our good friend Wikipedia says:
The Jonathan apple is a medium-sized sweet apple, with a strong touch of acid and a tough but smooth skin. It is closely related to theEsopus Spitzenburg apple. According to the US Apple Associationwebsite it is one of the fifteen most popular apple cultivars in the United States.
As for the Stayman Winesap, Orange Pippin says:
Descended from Winesap, and in most respects an even better apple.
Firm, tender, finely textured, juicy, crisp, and yellowish-green, the flesh is tart and spicy. They keep very well, and are used primarily as dessert apples, but also make a fine addition to blended cider.
For a change, I tried to take some tasting notes for the Farmgate. You tell me, is this at all useful information?
As you can see, I kind of gave up. OK, so I’m not exactly a critic – I don’t really think CiderPlex is about cider criticism, it’s much more focused on “chronicling.”