Maker: Sidreria Gurutzeta, Astigarraga, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, Spain
Style: Natural Basque Spanish cider
Purchased for $12/750 ml at Vine & Table in Carmel, Indiana.
Appearance: Very hazy gold.
Nose: Apple cores, dried flowers, apricot, lemon thyme.
Palate: Apricot, Golden Delicious apple, chalk dust, pinch of sweetness.
Finish: Tangy. Siracha burn in the back of the throat as it warms in the glass.
Parting words: This is the second Basque cider (or Sagardoa as they call it) I’ve reviewed. The other one was in November of 2017. It was Isastegi Sagardo Naturala, made in Tolosa about 17 miles (27 km) south of Astigarraga. The two ciders are similar in style but Gurutzeta is more acidic and less funky than Isastegi. Neither have more than a trace of sweetness.
Basque ciders are not what I’d call good entryway ciders for most North American drinkers. While they’re not as dominated by tannin as Norman ciders, they do have much more of it than most English or American ones. and they tend to have high levels of acid and funk with virturally no sweetness. It may sound silly, but for those new to Basque cider I would suggest getting a solid feel for French cider before venturing into Basque Country. It will help you understand this unique tradition better. At any rate, Gurutzeta Original Basque Cider is recommended!