Maker: Domaine Dupont, Victot-Pontfol, Normandy, France
Style: Calvados-barrel-aged cider.
Apples: 67% bittersweet, 33% acidic
Place of origin: (Pays d’Auge) Normandy, France.
Vintage: 2016 (bottled 2017)
Notes: Unpasteurized, wild yeast fermented. Aged in Calvados barrels for six months.
Purchased for $25/750 ml (Vine & Table, Carmel, Indiana)
Parting words: Domaine Dupont is one of the big cheeses of Calvados and like many other Calvados houses, they make cider and pommeau as well. The domaine has been owned by the Dupont family since 1917. Current patriarch Éitienne Dupont modernized the estate when he took over from his father Jules in the 1980s. He handed the business over to his son Jérôme and daughter Ann-Pamy in 2002. Sadly, Jérôme was killed in an accident in August of 2018. Éitienne has come out of retirement to help Ann-Pamy and the management team to lead the company.
Dupont’s line of ciders consists of the entry-level Cidre Bouche (reviewed in 2014), an organic cider, Triple (triple fermented from 100% bittersweets), Cuvée Colette (champagne method), and this one, the Calvados-barrel aged Reserve. I didn’t care for the Cidre Bouche when I tried it (too dry and funky) but I really enjoy this cider. The barrel aging adds a wonderful creamy sweetness that balances out the chalky funk. The result is a well-rounded, complex but easy-drinking cider that anyone can enjoy.
That doesn’t come cheap, but Dupont Reserve is easily worth the price. Dupont Reserve is highly recommended.