Florian Bourrienne's Normandy ciders
Cider yes, but do you know cider for keeping? Epicurieux went to find in the heart of Normandy, next to Livarot, a producer of farm ciders destined to evolve over the years. Vintage 2018, 2017 and 2015… a gentle journey through the apple.
The orchards of Florian Bourrienne
What is the difference between a classic natural cider and a Florian farm cider? His potential to keep it over the time.
Florian Bourrienne makes ciders for laying down thanks to very rigorous work. Located in the heart of Calvados (the country of the apple), Florian wants to be a natural producer. Installed since 1995, he planted, with his family, the fifteen hectares of his organic orchard, which he cultivates today. However, Florian Bourrienne does not wish to benefit from the Pays d'Auge appellation in which it is located. For him, fulfilling the specifications is far too restrictive, he wants to be free in his design choices.
Facing south-east, on clay and siliceous soil, the different plots of apples are planted according to a very specific variety, to create unique ciders. There are therefore three flavors to differentiate to compose a cider: sweet apple, bitter and acid.
The production of Florian Bourrienne farm ciders
Florian produces vintage ciders, which requires special attention to build the right blend. The important thing for him is not to produce the same farmhouse cider every year, but to produce a unique, balanced cider that flourishes over time.
From one year to another, nothing is alike. Florian Bourrienne can have a rainy year, a sunny year, where one of the varieties will produce more than the others, and vice versa in the years that follow. The important thing in this issue is to maintain a balance of flavors according to each variety of apple. The assembly is therefore very important here to obtain a round cider, lively in its beginnings to arrive on velvet at its peak, while keeping a bubble.
Fermentation is also a crucial step in the production of Florian Bourrienne farm ciders. It takes place in two stages once the apple juice is pressed: first there is the defecation, this is the stage where the juice must be clarified, then there is a second fermentation in the tank, where the transformation happens naturally. Florian is aware that this process is slow, and that you have to be very patient when you want to make cider for laying down. The indigenous yeasts do their job, as do the rest of the living elements that help structure the cider, its aromas, and its foam.
Little science lesson about moss; when the cider reaches the desired density, producers carry out a filtration which will eliminate the natural yeasts, but add some during bottling to obtain this famous foam. The yeasts are therefore no longer natural, nor is the process. Industrial cider, on the other hand, is pasteurized, the foam is obtained thanks to the addition of CO2. Florian Bourrienne trusts nature. It performs a light filtration to leave the deposit (original yeasts), and then obtains a natural foam. It's a very complex job, it requires precision, especially since the fermentation takes place at room temperature.
Farm ciders from Florian Bourrienne
Florian's ciders are obviously very unique, from one year to the next, and one vintage absolutely does not make the next. This is what makes all its authenticity.
A vintage will see the light of day only if the farmhouse cider pleases its creator. You have to be certain that the cider takes the right direction, that of ageing, and in a 100% natural way. This process is clearly the opposite of today's techniques. The ciders are all alike, without much flavor.
Florian Bourrienne therefore produces ciders for laying down, which are lively in their youth, and which soften over time. A smell, a sweetness, a flavor quite simply different from supermarket ciders… You have to taste to understand, you have to move away from received ideas.
The Epicurieux team has decided to present the 2018 vintage to you, with a mouth that is still rather lively (4 years old already), a generously present fruit. The 2017 vintage meanwhile is reaching a good age, it is beginning to fill with sweetness, a still very greedy apple, an acidity specific to this sunny vintage.
And 2015, which will envelop your entire palate with its sweetness, a delicate bubble, and an ultra-present apple.
Cider lover, purist at heart, discover these ciders with very generous flavors! We are not far from producing a great wine… but in Normandy.