Crafted by a third generation master distiller, these calvadoses are pot-distilled and aged in Normandy.
Since the reign of Charlemagne in the 8th century, distilleries in the Lower Normandy region of France have been distilling calvados — a type of apple brandy. Calvados is made by harvesting and pressing fresh apples into a pulpy juice. The juice is then fermented into a dry cider, which is distilled before being matured in oak casks for a minimum of two years.
Calvados has a long and rich history in France. When an outbreak of phylloxera devastated the vineyards of France, calvados experienced a golden age. In addition, during World War I, calvados was requisitioned by the French Army both as a drink for French soldiers to enjoy and, because of its alcohol content, for use in armaments.
Manoir d'Apreval is a family-owned cider making domaine located in the French commune of Honfleur, which sits in Normandy's "Pays d'Auge" region, made famous for its production of apples and Camembert cheese. Established at the beginning of the 20th century by Victor Revillon, Manoir d'Apreval has since been stewarded for three generations by the women in his family — his wife, his granddaughter, and now his great granddaughter, Agathe Lettelier.
Manoir d'Apreval Calvados is crafted from a unique blend of organically grown apples. Lettelier chooses a selection of bitter and bitter-sweet apple varietals, which are rich in tannins and acidity and ultimately provide the calvados with its smooth flavor and full body. Once the apples are harvested and pressed into a tart juice, the fresh cider rests in vats for six to nine months as it completes natural fermentation. Next, the cider is twice distilled through a pot still in the traditional Pays d'Auge method and then immediately transferred into oak barrels for maturation. The tannins from the oak gives the calvados its warm color — first golden, then amber as the calvados ages even longer — and aromatic bouquet.
Manoir d'Apreval Calvados Blanche is aged up to three years, and has been designed specifically with cocktails in mind. The Blanche has a pale golden color and very fruity aroma of fresh apples, with hints of citrus and licorice also on the nose. The taste is crisp, with sweet apple notes on the palate progressing into a refreshing and slightly bitter finish.
Manoir d'Apreval Calvados Réserve is made from calvados aged at least five years, which is reflected in its bright golden color and amber undertones. The Réserve possesses aromas of ripe apples and vanilla, along with hints of tart apples, caramel and citrus on the palate. A bit more mellow than its younger predecessor, Manoir d'Apreval Calvados Réserve still demonstrates the refreshing and fruity qualities of its youth.
Manoir d'Apreval Calvados XO is aged for a minimum of 15 years, resulting in a deep copper color. Sweet aromas of baked apples, brown sugar, vanilla, pie crust and warm spices give way to notes of honey, caramel, vanilla, nougat and citrus on the palate, and lead to a finish accented by touches of woody spices and candied nuts.
Pick up all three bottles of calvados today!
Blanche - 80 (40% ABV); Reserve, XO - 84 (42% ABV)
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Blanche: Fruity aroma of fresh apples, with hints of citrus and licorice also on the nose. The taste is crisp, with sweet apple notes on the palate progressing into a refreshing and slightly bitter finish, with subdued notes of wood mingled in.