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K&L Staff Recommendations
Astrid Hubert has taken over her family's apple distillation business with a desire to bring Calvados into the modern generation. She wants to make her estate's brandy more fruit-forward and more feminine in style -- "After all, I am a woman!" she told us during our visit in 2013. For $29.99 there has never been an apple brandy this good on the American market. The juicy apple flavor simply bursts on the first sip, the fruit taking front and center stage as the cider-like acidity helps balance out the richness of the wood. Try making a Jack Rose cocktail... Read More »
This is going to be one of the most crowdpleasing spirits we've ever brought in from France: a fifteen year old single barrel exclusive of 100% pear-distilled Calvados from our newest small producer Domaine Pacory. In the Domfrontais region of Normandy, the brandies are generally 60% pear or more. We figured there must be a few people distilling from nothing but pears, so we asked Frédéric if that was the case. He said somewhere in his small shed of casks were indeed a few pear-only distillates. Located on the ferme des Grimaux, the Pacory property has b... Read More »
When you look at what we've imported from Calvados over the last few years, be it Camut or Hubert, you'll notice a thread that runs through all of these expressions: they each taste like a juicy apple. Yet when you travel to Normandy and you taste the huge variety of different apple ciders and brandies, many of them are not so juicy. There are some that taste like brown apple, some that taste like an earthy apple, and many that taste like the skin of an apple. Knowing that the sweetest apple flavors are the most accessible, we've generally gone down that... Read More »
While we've long worked with Domfrontais distiller Lemorton for our regional Calvados needs, we recently discovered their neighbor in Mantilly: a producer called Pacory. One thing that separates the brandies of the Domfrontais from other AOC Calvados spirits is the heavy use of pears in the recipe. Domfrontais brandies generally have 60% or more pear distillate in the eventual blend, adding an entirely different dynamic to the flavor. We wanted to see if we could find something with a "high-pear" cepage, preferably with a little age. One of the interesti... Read More »
Lemorton Calvados comes from the southern appellation of Domfrontais. In this appellation at least 30% of the cider making the Calvados must be made from pears. This 6 year old is elegant and beautiful, with more than 60% of the blend coming from pear. The apple, however, is what shines through and the Lemorton succeeds, more than any other Calvados we offer, in showcasing the bright acidity of the fruit along with soft touches of baking spice. Fantastic Calvados.
Inventory: San Francisco
From Charles Neal: "The Huard family have lived on the Le Pertyer property in the Suisse-Normand for five generations. Jean-Francois Guillouet, who recently took over for his retired grandfather Michel, is the seventh generation. If one were to consider the properties of Camut and Giard from the Domaine de Montreuil as the most stunning examples of hautes-tiges plantings in the Pays d'Auge, and Lemorton as the most revered property in the Domfrontais, the Huard property would have to be considered the most admired in AOC Calvados."
The Giard family has been producing Calvados in the Pays d'Auge for 11 generations. The Domaine du Montreuil orchard was planted on land formerly covered by the sea and it exhibits a distinctive apple flavor. This Calvados offers a robust fruity nose, with woody undertones. Zesty qualities and apple blossom honey notes round out the palate and lead to a lively finish.
93 points, 2015 Ultimate Spirits Challenge: "Excellent, Highly Recommended. Tasting Notes: Bright on the nose, it is reminiscent of applesauce and white grapes. In the mouth it is spicy and complex with meyer lemon, white flowers and deep clover honey. The play between savory and sweet is intriguing."
The Clos de la Hurvanière, the source for this eight year old Calvados, is south of the Pays d'Auge between Lisieux, Livarot and Orbec. Like many farmers in Normandy, the Groult family, who own the property, would make cider and Calvados in addition raising dairy cattle. In the late 1800s, Pierre Groult decided to focus on making Calvados. Now run by the fourth generation, the family still uses apples from their own orchards, as well as some from their neighbors. This 8 year old is just starting to show secondary qualities. Its nose is rich, with creamy ... Read More »
A fabulous entry-level Calvados that far surpasses its competition in this price range.
Special Order Only! Special order items are not in stock and are dependent upon quantity available from distribution. All special orders are final and non-refundable. Will take 3-7 business days to receive this product before it can be shipped.
Inventory: Special Order
Special Order Only! Special order items are not in stock and are dependent upon quantity available from distribution. All special orders are final and non-refundable. Will take 3-7 business days to receive this product before it can be shipped. From the distiller: "While the fruit is still dominant, the blend of Lecompte 12 renders it more complex and more intense than its younger sibling, with a remarkable aromatic maturity. Elegant cinnamon and nutmeg aromas rub shoulders with complex hints of caramelised apples and roasted hazelnuts, punctuated by a f... Read More »
Inventory: Special Order
Adrien Camut's Rareté is the oldest release from this esteemed Calvados producer. According to importer Charles Neal, the domaine used to produce a vintage-designated Calvados, but they stopped in the late 1970s, instead opting to assemble their oldest vintages into this release. This Rareté is made from Calvados lots that are, at minimum, 50 years old, and it contains Calvados up to 100 years old. Only six bottles are imported to the United States each year, making this an extremely rare and special treat for the Calvados enthusiast. Claude Camut handwr... Read More »
As you go up Camut's range of Calvados you start to see what the immense care they take in the cellar translates to in the bottles. The 6 year is fresh, forward, and fruity. The 12 year starts to bring the darker riper apple flavors into the mix. The 18 year begins the transition toward the savory and nutty character that is often exhibited in old Calvados. While the whole line is exceptional, the subtle differences between the expressions are a connoisseur's dream, the Reserve de Semainville is honestly in a totally different league. It states "assembl... Read More »
Inventory: Redwood City