6 Somewhere/Pierre Huet, France
When I saw this on the shelf in Tesco I was expecting to be disappointed when I read the label, but the provenance seems to check out. It’s made from 100% pressed apples, with no sugar or other additives. I particularly like that their website shouts loudly about the provenance (as well as taking a well reasoned swipe at the UK’s rubbish labelling laws). At 4% that might ring some alarm bells, but I understand that it is fairly typical for the Normandy style.
Looking at the label, the name is a pun that it is “always 6 o’clock somewhere”, and the semi-dry version is dubbed “coup de foudre”, which seems to literally translate as “thunderbolt”, but also means love at first sight. (There is a sweet version at 2.5% known as “Afternoon Delight”). The apples are Noel de Champs, a bittersweet variety often used in Calvados and Binet Rouge which apparently shares some similarities with Dabinet, all of which sounds very promising.
So onto tasting (excuse the poncey glass but it seemed to be the right thing to use for something in this kind of bottle). Obviously coming in a mushroom corked and caged bottle it’s pretty lively, somewhat deeper in colour than you might expect, being a golden hue. The nose is fruity with some of the familar notes you expect from a bittersweet cider.
The taste is quite mellow and fruity, and as you might expect from bittersweet apples you have layers of sweetness and dryness in the mix. Hints of sharpness too, but these are masked if you drink it too cold (the website recommends 6 to 10C). Plenty of tannins in here which combined with the bubbles give it quite a robust mouthfeel. It’s less dry than I was expecting, but the overall effect is a nice easy drinking cider with some nice complexity.
So is it worth £7 for a 750ml bottle? It works out £4.66 per 500ml, so that’s more than a pint in a pub, so at supermarket prices that seems a bit over the odds. I’m not sure whether the target market for this is cider lovers like me or whether it’s intended as an alternative to Prosecco or Cava or a combination of the two, but I don’t think either would be disappointed. Other than the price, I can’t fault it.