Monday, October 14, 2013

Bonny Doon Vineyard Querry Cider 2011

The Tasting Panel magazine says Heineken is betting on a revival of cider, with their Strongbow brand.  Bonny Doon Vineyards' Randall Grahm is apparently doing the same, with his Querry cider.

Querry is 58% Bartlett and Seckel pears, 33% apples (Pink Pearl, Macintosh, Pippin and crab apples) and 9% pineapple quince, along with some other unnamed quince.  Throw in some malic acid and sulfur dioxide and the Bonny Doon “tell-all ingredients” label is complete.This 2011 vintage clocks in with a beer-like alcohol content of 6.9% abv and retails for $14.  1,924 cases were made.

Grahm says he queried himself, “What might a blend of pear, apple and quince taste like naturally fermented (with indigenous yeast) ?”  Querry is the culmination of his quest to answer that question.  He thinks it's the “pungent, heady, dusky perfume of pear and earthy apple” that makes this quaff, but I like the quince in it.

Bone dry, the cider is naturally fermented with a second fermentation, as in sparkling wines.  It looks like apple juice with bubbles.  They dissipate quickly, leaving a huge nose of the aforementioned fruit.  For its small percentage, the quince makes a big play.

The palate is marked by a huge level of acidity.  Pears and apples show strongly in a beverage that drinks like a beer mixed with a fruity sparkling wine.  It is completely refreshing, and I wish I'd had some when I was mowing the lawn.  I wish I had a lawn, too, but let’s not quarrel.  Querry is festive, for sure.  If you like your sparklers on the fruity side, this would be a great choice.  Pair it with a cheese plate, serve it over the holidays, but don’t keep your guests in a quandary - display the bottle as a conversation starter.