Eric Bordelet was previously a sommelier at Arpege, a top Paris restaurant. In 1992 he returned to his family home in Normandy to take over the domaine, which at that point was a small patch of orchards in Charchigné in the heart of Normandy’s premium Cider producing area.
Since then he has set about rescuing the ancient ‘heirloom’ varieties of pears and apples that produce tiny quantities and amazing flavour.
He has now planted many of these old heirloom varieties on his 23 ha property. These are worked organically and the fruit is dry-farmed, as Bordelet prefers to work with tiny very flavoursome apples and pears. ‘The fruit we work with looks quite different from what you’ll find in the grocery store. I know what each apple variety brings to the cider.’ says Eric, explaining that some Ciders can have about 20 different varieties used. And he adds, ‘I use about 40% of sweet apples, 40% sour apples and 20% of acidic apples to get the right balance.’
The results of this meticulous approach are apparent in the quality across the range of his ciders:
Sydre Brut 750ml £9.99
The acidity of the apples is relatively high and so is balanced by a little residual sugar so that the finish tastes dry to most palates.
Sydre Argelette 2018 750ml £14.99
The Argelette, Eric notes, ‘is more winey. Some vintages have to stay in the cellar longer. Argelette is the type of soil and it’s the same 40-40-20 blend of the other apple ciders.’ This tends to have more skin contact, he explains.
Poiré Authentique 750ml £11.99
Aptly described by Eric as a ‘Poire de soif’ or thirst quenching pear cider perfect for aperitif or with seafood and cheeses. So pure, so delicious.
Poiré Granit 2018 750ml
Produced from pear trees estimated to be about 300 years old. Poiré Granit has 75-80 grams of sugar per liter, yet it doesn’t taste particularly sweet. This is due to the tannin and acidity, which Bordelet says is twice as high as the apple! Stunning as aperitif or with cheese or desserts.