Thursday, December 19, 2013

Jean-Yves Péron's Natural Cider from the Savoie

Jean-Yves Péron is one of the brightest vignerons to emerge from the Savoie region in recent years. He trained with Thierry Allemand in the Rhone and Bruno Schueller in Alsace.

Péron started his own estate in 2004 working a tiny plot of 2 hectares planted with very old Mondeuse and Jacquere vines dating back to the 19th century. He farms organically and vinifies only with native yeasts and doesn't add sulfites. His wines are radically showing what is possible in the Savoie's alpine hills.

What surprised me about Péron is that  he also makes hard apple cider. The Savoie region is known for its high quality apples. A number of cider producers are around, but I haven't encountered a Savoie vigneron who also makes cider.

Péron's current release of his "Cidre des Cimes" is a blend of apples harvested in 2010 and 2011. He applies the same approach in winemaking for his cider. The organically grown apples are fermented with native yeasts and no sulfites are added. The juice finishes its fermentation in bottle without dosage, thus it's a petillant naturel. He ages it in used barrels for a year before bottling.

I love this cider from Péron. Just 7% alcohol yet it's full of flavor. Bone dry and refreshing, it's great to sip on its own but I find that it's one of the most versatile beverages to drink with any dish, especially with spicy Indian food, Thai cuisine, and garlic fries. I can finish a bottle or two while munching on pizza and watching a ballgame.

Cidre des Cimes Brut Zero, Jean-Yves Péron 2010 & 11

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