The Antolino Brongo Cryomalus is an apple based ice cider. It is made from the juices of autumn harvested apples left to age at air temperature from October to January in the often freezing Quebec winter. That process concentrates the juices as the water evaporates from the air chilled apples – making a concentrated cider that is growing in popularity here in Quebec and elsewhere.
On the nose the smell brings me back to my youth in Quebec’s Eastern Townships and the smell of fallen apples strewn about the grounds decomposing and attracting the last wasps of the season. The Cryomalus website talks about scents of hazelnut and citrus – I guess those might be fancier talk for rotting apples and wasps.
On the gulp, I was drawn back to another childhood apple orchard memory. Sometimes the fresh squeezed apple juice we brought home from the orchards would start to freeze in the bottom of the fridge. As it gelled the water crystallized and you chip into into a bowl and suck on like an Italian Granité or a 7-11 Slurpee. Oh God, it was good. As the concentrate rolled around the mouth it felt like an apple explosion. The 2008 Antolino Brongo Cryomalus rolls into your mouth and the flavour just like that concentrated apple juice. It is big, smooth and round, sweet and sour and very much like that childhood memory. Beautiful red apple extract dominated, maybe with some pecan notes. But that nut component is essential as it brings a warmth to the product that would otherwise miss some depth. And also apple is such a comfort food fruit, right? As wine lovers we would be bored by wine that taste like grapes, but in this case the Macintosh and other varieties that compose Cryomalus are rendered in an augmented reality that is a grown up twist on my fondest childhood memories.
Musical Match: Here is a song that I had all but forgotten about since I was eight years old and walking around orchards marvelling over the apples on the trees and those that had succumb to gravity, Robert Palmer’s Every Kinda People. This is a great song from a part of his career that is sadly all but forgotten. This is a song prime for the remake. It is also big, round and sophisticated. The 2008 Antolino Brongo Cryomalus successfully resurrected some forgotten sensations, and augmented them for my forty-something reality – and I am happy to say researching for this wine and music blog brought back another blast from the past.