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Cidre Johanna Cecillon from Paris Wine Club


As I mentioned two weeks ago, I joined the Paris Wine Club.  The first and only shipment I received so far (next one comes when the summer heat breaks) is the May selection, three cuvées from a Domaine in Brittany, Northern France that makes hard apple cider as if it were wine, Domaine Johanna Cecillon.  Louis and Johanna are from a famed French winemaking family, and because they treat their ciders like wine, the Paris Wine Club saw fit to make these ciders available to their club members.

All Cidre Johanna Cecillon is made using different blends of heirloom apples to adjust sweetness and bitterness levels.  All of the apples used to make these ciders are grown in organic orchards on trees seventy-plus years old.  With the juice extracted the wines are fermented in concrete tanks, aged in oak barrels for six months and then naturally fermented in the bottle. These three wines/ciders run the gambit from sweet to balanced to bitter.  Today, I am sharing two of the three ciders.  The third will be blogged at a later date.

Cidre Johanna Cecillon* Cidre Johanna Cecillon * Divona 2015

We chose to consume the “Divona” first as it is the most typical of the dry ciders.  This is their “balanced” cider.  According to the data sheet this cider pairs well with sweet/salty foods like Chinese food or a protein with a fruit sauce or glaze.

{Sidebar: Ok, to be honest when I learned that the first shipment was three ciders I was a bit bummed out.  But now in hindsight that was not a fair assessment because I have really enjoyed these. I also feel like I learned something new and that is always a win in my book.  The thing that struck me most about these ciders is that they taste homemade.  I felt like I was drinking from the Cecillon’s personal cellar.  Nothing about these ciders tastes manufactured. Hard cider in the US is generally mass market product with added carbonation and is packaged in a beer bottle.  Trust me when I say, this is NOTHING like that.  Please read on…}

Now Back to the Divona 2015

Divona 2015 is a golden, dark straw color and a bit cloudy (I am guessing because it is not filtered).  It is a bubbly pour, like champagne. When you pop the cork, there is a pleasant yeasty aroma. Now, this may sound gratuitous, but this tastes like fresh, crisp apples.  When I say this, I mean natural, right off the farm apples and not “processed apple product”. It is a little sweet and a little bitter.  Each sip brings tiny bubbles to dance all over your tongue and as it disperses you get tastes of some of the different late-ripening apples that make up this blend.

It is easy and fun to drink. Kind of like we were celebrating something, but we weren’t which made it more fun.  I would drink this again and again.

7% alcohol by volume.  This cider sells for $19.99 per bottle.


* Cidre Johanna Cecillon * Nantosuelta 2015

Cidre Johanna CecillonCidre Johanna Cecillon This is the cuvée that is on the sweet end of the spectrum. To be clear with this cider there are no added sugars just the earlier-ripening varieties that tend to be sweeter when completely ripened.  It is a classic dessert cider. To be sure the earliest apples are completely ripe they are harvested and bagged and then cellared before they go into the tank for fermentation.

This cider when popped had a sweet aroma. The pour was also champagne-like but with this cider and the bubbles stayed in the glass but were much smaller than those in the Divona. As you can see from the picture, the color is a darker orange-yellow. It is also a bit cloudy buy also less than the previous cider. When you held the glass to the light, the edges were reddish and glowed.  Unlike the raw, fresh apple taste in the Divona, the Nantosuelta tasted more of cooked apples perhaps because of the sweetness level, or it could have been my mind playing tricks, as I have never tried to analyze cider taste profiles before.  This had a long mineral and naturally sweet finish.  I truly enjoyed this cider and look forward to tasting the last of the series very soon.

Also 7% alcohol by volume. Nantosuelta sells for $24.99

The crux of the matter

Drinking this type of cider is a new experience for me, and I am really thrilled I had this opportunity.  I can see serving the Divona cider at a brunch when you want to celebrate the day with friends but do not want to consume too much alcohol. The Nantosuelta makes for a great dessert wine and would be fun to pair with ice cream with caramel sauce.

I have never thought much about traveling to Brittany, but this experience may have changed that.

You can purchase these ciders through the Paris Wine Company even if you are not a club member.

That is all for now.







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