Our first pommeau. Pommeaus are fortified ciders, comparable to port or other fortified wines, and traditionally made in Northern France. Dovetail is a meditation on patience, begun five years ago with a small lot of Rome Beauty apples. We aded two other American heirloom varieties in 2017, stopping fermentation halfway with fruit brandy, then aging in 100% new American oak casks. This dessert cider is drier than its European cousins, but with some residual sugar from the apples. It has notes of honeyed apricot, peach, toffee and soft tannins from the long oak aging. Best enjoyed lightly chilled as an aperitif or as a beautiful end to a good meal.
2021 Cider Noir is the first blending of Noir to be 100% oak and barrel aged. Its a non vintage cider, with apples coming from the 2018, 2019, 2020 growing season. 25% of the cider was aged for multiple years in Ex-Chardonnay/Ex-Moonlight barrels; 25% in Ex-bourbon and Ex-Rye barrels; and 50% was aged for 6 months on new French Oak. The color comes from double fermentation with extra dark Belgian Candi made beet and date sugars. We steeped the final cider with Texas Pecans for a week before bottling. The result is a rich cider with notes of dark fruit, vanilla, ripe pear and soft tannins on the finish. A stout and creamy 11.1% ABV.
100% Cortland apples, a US variety first grown 120 years ago. Aged 8 months on lees to increase complexity. Notes of light citrus blossom on the nose, mellowed honeyed apricot on the palate. Floral, soft, perfect to leave semi-dry. Pair with Texas summers, grilled fish and light, vegetable pastas.
Golden Russet is a classic American cider apple variety. Originating in upstate New York in the early 19th century, the exact parentage is unknown. Our 2020 Golden Russet was aged for 12 months in neutral tanks. It carries notes of papaya, kiwifruit, and ripe nectarine on the nose, and leads with pear and nectarine on the palate with a subtle flinty finish. Residual sugar, nil. ABV 8.5%
Heirloom is blended from four American heirloom apples and a small lot of Bittersweets. Rhode Island Greening, the second oldest apple grown in the US dating from 1650, lends notes of subtle grapefruit. Ben Davis (~1811) contributes ripe pear and spice, Baldwin (~1740) brings lovely soft acidity and a hint of stone fruit and the Bittersweets contribute delicate tannins. Heirloom was aged on medium toast French Oak contributing structure and a hint of vanilla to this exceptional cider.
This is Texas Keeper's take on a fruited cider - a blend of four apple varieties aged 6 months on lees and then double fermented with sour cherries. We finished the cider dry to bring out the complexity of the cherries and avoid the pitfalls of too-sweet cherry ciders. The result is a cider with honeyed cherry on the nose, ripe apricot and nectarine on the palate, and a gentle tart finish.
Texas Keeper No. 1 is our flagship cider. It’s crafted from 3-12 apple varieties fermented individually and blended to build a well-balanced, dry cider with notes of ripe pear and melon, subtle rosewater and honeysuckle, with a crisp green apple finish. We ferment the apple varieties in small lots (~300 gallons) on heavy lees to increase fermentation nutrition and add complexity. We try our hardest to keep the ferments cool during fermentation with temperatures peaking at 56F. This cool, long fermentation helps preserve delicate fruit esters. No oak is generally used – we wanted to present the delicacy of the fruit. The ferments for No.1 are racked off heavy lees following fermentation and aged for at least six months on light lees with occasional batonnage. We allow the lots to go through spontaneous malolactic fermentation, which helps soften and broaden the palate of the final blend. The cider is unfiltered in order to keep as much of the complexity intact. We feel a light carbonation best suits Texas Keeper No. 1. It is our example of what we feel great cider should taste like.
The 2019 crop of GoldRush was true to form, with a crisp, citrus quality during pressing. We selected a combination of yeast strains to help round and soften the palate. Aged on lees to increase texture and to bring out toasted notes, this combination brought a hint of the creaminess of lemon meringue pie to the tart grapefruit and Meyer lemon. It’s our citrus sketch, perfect for pairing with a variety of cheeses and desserts.
Hopfen, formerly Ciderweizen, was built with hefeweizens and witbiers in mind. Our goal was to marry the underlying citrus and green apple notes of Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, and Gala apples, with the lightly hopped and spiced character of old world wheat beers. We used select yeast strains to accentuate the right fruit characteristics and dry hopped and dry spiced the cider with coriander, orange peel, clove, and Hallertau hops to finish.