Apples don’t leave a lot to hide behind. There isn’t a lot of alcohol or heavy tannin. There isn’t an overabundance of fruit. This is why there is so much cloyingly sweet cider out there – it is a mask.
Don’t get me wrong, I love sweet and semi-sweet cider and wine. However, they must have complexity, depth
The cider I tasted from Treasury, Counterpane, was an excellent example. Made from a blend of cider apples with the wonderful Porter’s Perfection and Brown Snout leading the way, it had both body and fruit to match.
Even back then, in November, we already discussed a visit, and
Fishkill Farms has a long history in Hudson Valley, founded by Henry Morgenthau in 1913. Its orchards, on the hills of the valley, are a picturesque mix of old and young trees, with the ancient apple trees just steps away from the young, densely planted and trellised dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties.
My wife and I met with Josh and Stacy Dedring (the assistant cider maker) in the
We then “walked” (hopped, skipped and climbed) over to the barrel room. Josh has several interesting blends in the barrel, the old wood adding a roundness to the cider, and the two we tried from the barrels show lots of promise. The final blending, of course, will determine much of the character, but the purity of fruit and the floral depth of both blends was encouraging.
My favorite part was, of course, a drive (and a walk) through the orchard. Covered in snow, the old trees looked sleepy but happy. It is hard to describe in words, but I can just tell these trees are loved and cared for. Standing on a ridge, looking down a row of old apple trees, to the “big barn”… if you haven’t visited Fishkill Farms yet… the Spring season is almost here.
Fishkill Farms Cider is named “Treasury” as an homage to Henry Morgenthau Jr., who served as Secretary of the Treasury under FDR.
We tasted through the lineup, including some recent releases, together with Stacy. My top three were the Burr Knot, the Centennial and the Counterpane (
The “Burr Knot” is the most “geeky” of the three, with a nose of donut peach, bright and ripe, tannic acidic mid-palate that broadens toward she back showing a nuttier, riper side. The finish is moderately long with green almond and zest.
The “Counterpane” Cider –
My favorite was the “Centennial”; the most “classically” built dry cider of the bunch. It opens with a yeasty, red apple skin and apricot nose, leading to a ripe grapefruit mid, with orange zest and a good tannic grip toward the back. The finish is long, zesty and with rustic tannin, adding to the depth and complexity of this cider.