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Calvados, 'Reserve', Manoir de Montreuil

Two hours due west of Paris, along the “cider route” in the Pay d’ Auge, nestled between the apple orchards and black & white cows lies the small community of Montreuil.  It is here that the Giard family has been distilling apples into some of the finest calvados for 12 generations.  74 acres of apple orchards (3,000 trees) have been planted in the traditional haute tige method, allowing for their 200 head of cattle to graze freely.  They eat the lush grass, aerate the soil with their weight and fertilize the soild with their dung.

After an eleven month fermentation “sur lie” and a double distillation, required by AOC law, the young brandy is transferred into well-seasoned oak barrels to age.  Patrice Giard prefers to refinish the ends of some barrels instead of buying entirely new oak, as to not impart too much green woody flavors into his spirit.  Manoir de Montreuil “Reserve” Calvados is a blend of three vintages (1998, 2000, 2003) and clocks in at 42% ABV.

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Tasting Notes

A carefully chosen blend of younger brandies, with an average age of 7 years: 20% from barrel distilled in 1998, 40% from barrel distilled in 2000 and 30% from barrel distilled in 2003. Elegant oxidation and long fermentation heighten the maturity and baking spices of the brandy’s oak, like biting into an apple then waiting 20 minutes before returning for a second nibble.

The apples are a mixture of the four categories: sweet, bittersweet, acidic and bitter composed of numerous include Domaine, Bedan, Fagotier, St. Philbert, Frequin Rouge, and the acidic Rimbault, Petit Jaune and Blanc Sur.

Soft, sweet with great acidity and sings with notes of green apple, vanilla and baking spice. Showing forthcoming apple flavors, along with a touch of vanilla, smoke, spice and subtle hint of beeswax.

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