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June 03, 2020
New Producer Alert! The seaside ciders of Cidrerie du Leguer
Cédric Le Bloas was born and raised in Brittany, France, a five hour, scenic drive west from Paris and a welcome refuge from the tourist’s beaten path. With a wild and lengthy rugged coastline, the peninsula is known for it’s pink-ish hued sands, thick forests and strong Celtic heritage. Compared to Normandy, the well-known heart of cider production in France and Brittany’s inland neighbor to the north, the more maritime, extreme climate of Brittany lends a hand in producing excellent artisanal ciders with a higher level of acidity, bitterness and ability to handle a little more residual sugar.
Cédric left Brittany to study agriculture and travel through France, but he and his wife Kate eventually made their return to the peninsula, upon which discovering a four hectare large, “almost abandoned” cider farm in the town of Lannion. Featuring granite soils with various levels of clay and a diverse mix of both heirloom and indigneous apple trees, it was here that the couple embarked on their next adventure, Cidrerie du Léguer, celebrating their inaugral 2016 vintage soon after.
Cédric and his wife (along with their trusty labrador, Goël) farm organically, but the truth is even more simple than this: they mow the law, prune the trees, and encourage natural predators for pest control. That’s it. In true Bronson Alcott, Fruitlands-era spirit, Cédric collects apples only once they have fallen, putting them in crates to further ripen. From harvest to bottling, all work is done by hand and with minimal intervention. Instead of filtering the juice, Cédric uses the old-school process of “keeving” to clean the musts and remove pectin. Apples are washed with simply water, all fermentations occur naturally and the ciders are bottled with no sulfur or other additives.
Still in the early years of production, Cidrerie du Leguer’s terroir-driven ciders already have an undeniable depth and toothsome grip. Cédric is continuing to focus on experimentation, tasting and learning. His ciders are neither totally rustic, nor polished and suave; they feel rounded and brimming with flavor, yet crystalline and direct. The key, as Cédric sees it, is learning to tame the apple’s high acidity and fine but very pervasive tannins. Early experiments with black currant (for the rosé) and hops have resulted in beautiful, integrated ciders that have more complexity, yet don’t lose their vinous quality. Cidrerie de Leuger’s first chapter has begun, and we could not be more excited to introduce these ciders to Illinois.
Cidrerie du Leguer 2018 ‘BrutBrut’ Cidre, Cidre de Bretagne IGP
Cidrerie du Leguer 2018 ‘Granit’ Cidre, Cidre de Bretagne IGP
Cidrerie du Leguer 2018 ‘Granit’ Rose Cidre, Brittany
Cidrerie du Leguer 2018 ‘Premium’ Cidre, Cidre de Bretagne IGP