Purple Palate Blog

Calvados – Cider to Sensational



Calvados is fruit spirit made from apples and sometimes apples and pears.

Thee are 2 regions and 3 appellations that can use the name Calvados.

In Normandy in France is biggest area west of the Rouen, while Calvados Pays d’Auge is located in central region of Normandy with Domfrontias is to western edge of Normandy.

Based on Apple and Pears (but mainly apple are far more planted). The same as to make cider and which are divided in 4 categories-Acidic/Sour, Bitter/Sour, Bittersweet, Sweet.

Domfrontias must contain 15% pears.

The fruit is crushed, then pressed to extract the juice. No sugar or SO2 is allowed, and no yeast may be added for fermentation, and the then created cider is around 6%ABV.

The distillation is either pot stilled or double column stilled, and may not exceed 72%ABV.

Calvados Pays dAuge must be copper pot stilled as per Cognac with Charentais Still, with initial product 28-30%ABV, with the final spirit 65%-70%ABV.

Calvados Domfrontias must be in Double Copper Column Still, limited to 26 rectifing plates.

Traditionally Calvados is matured in Foundres, 1000-10000L Vats, however some producers now are using new oak barrels for short periods then transferred to Foundres.

The labelling terms are based on 3 appellations,Region, , and maturation level.

VS, fine 3 star youngest blend is 2 years

Vieux or Reserve youngest in blend is 3 years

VO minimum 4 years

Napoleon 6 years

XO 10 years

Age indicated

Vintage minimum 10 years

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