Monday, May 2, 2016

Clearly Apple: Double Zero Eau de Vie de Cidre

A few weeks ago, K&L held a tasting with spirits importer Nicolas Palazzi. It was an amazing deal. For $25, we got to try eight highly original spirits from a number of eau de vies to the latest Navarre Cognac to the 1975 Domaine Aurensan Armagnac. But among all these rare and long aged spirits, one of the stand outs was something young.

Double Zero Eau de Vie de Cidre is made by Cyril Zangs, one of the most well respected cider producers in France (sadly, his ciders aren't available in the US). Zangs uses over 30 varieties of apples, a mixture of sweet, bitter and sour, to make his cider. He then distills it on Jean-Roger Groult's Calvados still.

I'm not usually a fan of eau de vie. Like white whiskey, unaged brandy usually has a harsh, chemical flavor typical of raw spirit.This stuff is different. The nose has an incredible, intense apple note. It is utterly fantastic. I could just nose the stuff forever. The palate opens with crisp apple notes, followed by cinnamon and spice. It trails off with a yeasty/apple note with a strong apple finish. I love the purity of the apple flavor of this from nose to finish. For new make, this stuff is unbelievable. 

Double Zero clocks in at 100 proof (50% abv). There are 406 bottles coming to the U.S. Eventually, it should hit the shelves in California, but you can currently get it at Astor Wines. Astor has it for $80, but they have frequent one-day 15% off sales for things like all French spirits or all spirits made from apples; it's worth getting on Astor's mailing list so you know when the sales hit.


Anonymous said...

i was just reading about cyril zangs' ciders.

are they truly unavailable in the u.s.? i was perusing
the internet and thought they were on the wine lists
of some restaurants in the l.a. area.

i could have misunderstood, though.


sku said...

Yeah, apparently there is some limited availability. I'm told it's distributed by Selection Massale in very limited quantities. I'm not sure if any of it goes to stores or if it's just in some bars and restaurants.

Funky Tape said...

I think they still offer free ship on your first $99+ order.

And yes, wait for those sales. I got a bottle of their Gourry de Chadville cognac although I don't think it's the same exact one Steve reviewed awhile back. But for $76 delivered I cannot complain.

Anonymous said...

Young calvados is definitely more palatable (to me) than whiskey of a similar age, and definitely retains that brighter apple flavor; older calvados becomes more brandy-like, which can be incredible, but can also lose its distinctiveness.