Maker: Verterra Winery, Leland, Michigan, USA
Purchased for $13/750 ml (Michigan by the Bottle Tasting Room, Royal Oak). Growlers available at the winery for $20, with $16 refills.
Appearance: Light gold.
Nose: Cut apple, light corn syrup, Pinot Gris wine.
Palate: Effervescent and medium bodied. Semi-dry. Mineral water, apple cider, underripe pear.
Finish: Crisp and clean with a lingering murmur of minerality and crisp apple.
Parting words: The next big thing in Michigan wine is cider. After two brutal winters in a row that have left many wineries scrambling for grapes, many have turned to apples to supplement their wine portfolios. Verterra in Leland, on the Leelanau peninsula, is one of those.
Verterra’s ciders were given the name of the winery’s successful Chaos series. Just Apple is Chaos’ flagship and the only unblended (or unflavored) cider in the fleet. As such, it seemed like a good place to start. I was not disappointed.
Calling it great might be an overstatement, but it is quite good. Just Apple does an excellent job of balancing the dryness one expects in a fine cider with the sweetness and apple character beloved by the masses. Goes with just about anything one can put on a plate. The price isn’t too bad either, especially the growler price at the winery, but the MBTBTR price is a perfectly fair. It tastes like a $13 bottle of cider should taste. Chaos Ciders Just Apple is recommended.