Aged in oak barrels for 25 Years. Bottled February 2019. We chose the 1993 vintage from the domaine, bottled in 2018 at 40%. This quarter century Calvados has a complex nose that combines baked green apple, an intriguing floral note and a hint of wood smoke. The palate has additional flavors of toffee and spice, yet it is the apple flavor that sings loudest on its long finish. From the verdant hills of Normandy for you, apples in their most beautiful liquid form. D&M Tasting Notes
The Huard family have been living in and around the small village of Caligny for five generations. The village is situated in an area known as the Suisse Normand (Switzerland of Normandy.) Here the hills are higher and valleys are deeper than many other parts of the greater region. It is a bucolic area, very sparsely populated with a mixture of livestock and apple trees dotting the green hills. Outside of the village next to a large granite building you will find the orchards and cave of Jean-François Guillouet, grandson of the eponymous Michel Huard.
Like his neighbors Jean-François also raises cows. We could say that he has taken a different path with his livestock as he has a herd of long horned steer, as opposed to the ubiquitous Normandy dairy cow. The family owns 37 acres of orchards with roughly 1500 trees where the cows roam, aerate and fertilize the loamy soils. This allows for Jean-François to forgo the use of outside treatments in his orchards. The average age of the apple trees are 30 years old, and most are about 40 feet tall. The family has 15 different types of apple trees (most of them early to mid-season ripening) with a majority of the trees being the President variety.
Apples used for their Calvados range the gamut from sweet to bitter. Their plantings include the sweet varieties of Binet Rouge, Clos Renaux, Douce Coët Ligne, Doux Normandie, Doret Rouge and President. Bittersweet varieties include Douçe Moen, Moulin a Vent, Saint Martin, Moussette and Marin Onfroy. Domaine, Frequin Rouge and Mettais round out their bitter varieties. When it is time to harvest the apples are picked up from the ground once they have fallen from the trees. They are brought to the press area and spend about 48 hours on a cement floor before being grated into a rough pulp and squeezed in a bladder press. The fresh must then goes into stainless-steel tanks built into a nearby hillside to slowly ferment. About 90% of this cider is destined for distillation in a column still by the itinerant distiller Pierre Huet. He brings his wood-heated alembic to the property twice a year: in May and September.
These two distillation batches produce, depending on the year, 3600 to 6000 liters of pure alcohol (enough to fill about forty standard wine barrels.) While Jean-François does have some older wine-sized barrels, much of the spirit also goes into large old oak casks that are 400, 600, 800 or even 4,000 to 7,000 liters in volume. The calvados remains at cask strength for the first few years in an effort to extract tannin from the wood. Afterward the first few years the alcoholic strength is brought down very gradually with the addition of water sourced from one of the property’s wells. A number of blends are available from the property, as well as a good amount of vintage offerings. Charles Neal, Importer
Michel Huard 1993 Calvados
- Brand: Michel Huard
- Availability: In Stock
- Quantity Available: 2
- SKU #: 7710