Malus Mama, Basque Ice Cider 2013 375ml

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Malus Mama
Basque Country
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“Beware, this is technically not wine, as it's produced with apple juice, not with grape juice. But to me, this 2012 Malus Mama is up there with the best sweet wines in Spain and the world; I've often served it blind and people have commented on its strong personality and striking freshness, but they have rarely discovered it was not wine! It's an ice cider produced with a field blend of apples from a particular orchard planted 50 to 55 years ago, the Manzanal Etxeburua in the village of Astigarraga. The painful process of concentrating the juice by freezing it to remove water to finish with an alcoholic degree of around 11% is just unbelievable: around 11% alcohol and a whopping 14 grams of acidity (concentration concentrates everything, acidity too!) plus 150 grams of sugar require time to come into balance, and Otegi likes it some seven years after the harvest. The juice ferments with wild yeasts and then matures in barrique for one and a half years and no less than four more years in bottle. It has a dark mahogany color, with some sediment and an explosive nose of baked apples and apple liqueur with a balsamic lanolin-like touch, hints of candied orange peel and molasses, with toasty and spicy undertones. This is perfect and ready now, charming, showy and sweet but with great freshness (think vintage Madeira) with electricity, super long and tasty. Incredible juice. It has complexity and nuance. There are some 2,500 half-bottles. 97 Points” - Luis Gutierrez, The Wine Advocate - August, 2020