Maker: Léon Desfrièches & Fils, Saint-Désir-de-Lisieux, Calvados, France
Varieties: Undisclosed but “no less than 20 varieities” according to the website.
Place of origin: Normandy, France.
Purchased for $12/750 ml (Pour, Royal Oak, Michigan)
Note: Made from 100% apple juice, no sugar added.
Parting words: The Le Père Jules brand was named for the father of Leon Desfrièches who began the family business in 1919 after returning home to Normandy after World War I. Jules began distilling Calvados in 1923. Son Léon joined the business in 1949 and founded the company as it is today, creating the brand. Jules’ grandson Thierry and Thierry’s son Guilliame run the business now and produce Cider, Perry (Poiré), Pommeau and Calvados. The cider is made in brut (dry), demi-sec (semi-dry) and doux (sweet). Unfortunately, only the Brut Cider and Perry are available in the US as far as I can tell.
When it comes to French ciders, I usually prefer Breton to Norman, because all of the Norman ciders I’ve had have been yeasty and brutally tannic. The Breton ciders have been more balanced and not as puckeringly austere. This cider has changed my mind about Normandy. It’s perfectly balanced with the trademark tannins and yeasty funk but with a counterpoint of fruit to bring it together and produce an elegant harmonious whole. This is the best French cider I’ve had and easily in the top five ciders I’ve had from anywhere. Père Jules Brut is highly recommended.
2 thoughts on “Père Jules Cidre de Normandie, Brut”
This sounds great! The bottle I got of Le Pere Jules had gone bad (I was told some of these ciders don’t travel/ship/store well), and I haven’t felt like buying another one in case that would be bad too. I also typically prefer Breton to Norman French ciders, as I don’t like sourness (although I am more tolerant of funk).
English and French ciders are some of my favorite varieties, and often are a good value too, costing less than local ciders made from cider apples. Some of my favorite Breton French Cidres are Dan Armor (only at Trader Joe’s), Celt (four packs of small green bottles), and Le Brun. Christian Drouin, Eric Bordelet, L’Hermitiére Cidre Brut, Domaine Pacory Poire (only), and Etienne Dupont Pommeau (only) are some exceptions, as I didn’t find them as sour or funky as typically Norman selections. I’ve enjoyed every French Poire I’ve tried so far. Nothing compares to them which is made in the U.S. (although E.Z. Orchards from Oregon probably comes closest).
Yes, big fan of Dan Armor! Just finished a bottle of the perry. I’ll check out those others. I appreciate the tip! French ciders are hard to find around here but I’ll be doing some travelling soon so I’ll keep a look out!