7.4% - Dry Sparkling Cider - 2019 Vintage
Our first collaboration with Sam Nightingale from Nightingale Cider Company in Tenterden, Kent. We first met Sam a few years ago, when he was just starting out, but from that first meeting we knew he would go on to make great cider. Mike could tell he held true passion for apples and understood the significance of varietal characters.
We've drank Nightingale regularly for the last few years, and so this joining of his cider to ours was something we had long planned. Earlier this year, Sam sent us a box of samples from all his different single varieties from 2019. We tasted through them all, assessing the qualities and unique aspects of each, but it was Bramley that stood out. It's an apple we grow ourselves, but Sam's Kentish terroir added some subtle but signifiant differences. Bursting green acidity, fresh zesty aroma, and a delightful bend of sweetness that comes with that twisting lime and apple flavour in Bramley.
The next step was to try the Bramley with a few of our different options - to best represent our contribution, we knew we needed a bittersweet. And let's be real: one that had been fermented in oak. We tried a few different varieties, but Dabinett, that jewel in the crown of bittersweet apples, was clearly the perfect partner to the Bramley.
So Sam came to visit, and we tried the blend together, experimenting with different ratios and barrels of Dabinett to find which best fit his oustanding Bramley. Eventually we agreed that the simplest ratio was also the best one - so this cider is 50% Kentish Bramley, 50% Herefordshire Dabinett, which was fermented in Kentucky oak casks. Blended together and bottle conditioned.
It is a joining of worlds. Aromatic vanilla, gentle complex tannins, with bracing acidity and delicious green sourness. After our long journey to get here, this cider tells a story of East and West, of Kentish and Herefordian Cidermaking. A unique drink.