Blog posts 22 August, 2018

On the 2017 Brännland Cider cider and ice cider vintage

On the 2017 Brännland Cider cider and ice cider vintage

The 2017 harvest was the toughest for apples in Sweden in many decades, with severe frost and hail hitting growers in the spring season, cutting harvest volumes by as much as 25%.

The rough conditions could have effected the harvest in a negative way but It seems though as the apples that did come out of it are actually of very good quality with a more complex structure and a stronger tannin backbone. This has of course made an impression in all our ciders but is mostly visible in the spring season production of Pernilla Perle and Brännland Iscider.

We feel that the characteristics of the harvest has meant an over all quality improvement of our raw material where the acidity that is always present in our apples and ciders has now been joined by a more structured finish which makes for cider that will age and develop well.

Already at pressing in December it was clear that the juice would have a strong acidity profile but also that sugar levels were normal in spite of the cold and difficult growing season. Decisions were made early on to keep the residual sugar in the ice cider fairly high and to not ferment the vintage too far in terms of alcohol to maintain balance between sugar and acidity. Coupled with the unusually pronounced tannin backbone we felt that there was a lot of promise even before concentration.

The 2017/2018 season was also blessed by very cold winter temperatures which froze the raw juice quickly after pressing and gave us a long concentration with high yields at high sugar levels in turn presenting a larger than usual material to work with. As a result the 2017 has produced fermentations with many different expressions allowing us to choose the best material for the regular Brännland Iscider blend as well as for barrel ageing.

Pernilla Perle 2017

This years Perle is drier than previous years and more austere but is also, as a result of the characteristics of the harvest, balanced by more pronounced tannins and a more structured finish. In previous vintages we’ve sometimes decided to use some ice cider to raise the residual sugar levels. After fermentation the 2017 had a very nice natural balance and so we’ve decided to not use ice cider in any significant amount in this vintage. We’ve added as little as 1-2% of ice cider to give the Perle a slightly fuller presentation than it had after fermentation but that’s it.

Fermentations for this years Perle were unusually quick reaching target balance in a little over a week where we usually see at least a ten day plus fermentation.

Brännland Iscider 2017

Even more than Pernilla Perle the 2017 Brännland Iscider has materialised as a vintage that is fuller and more grown up than in previous years. Already at pressing the juice was powerful and we decided to not ferment the vintage too far. The acidity was pronounced and would need more residual sugar to balance the cider. The 2017 ice cider is dominated by Ingrid Marie apples and supplemented by Cox Orange, Mutsu and Aroma. This year we’ve also worked with Pirouette which is a new acquaintance for us. The results are very encouraging. The 2017 will be bottled in September and we think that this vintage will be outstanding in a long term perspective. The residual sugar comes in at the highest for Brännland Cider since the 2012 vintage but in spite of the high sugar levels the resulting ice cider is fresh and light.

Fermentations for the ice cider has gone according to plan with some vessels fermenting for up to three months. The 2017, as the 2016, has been fermented partly in barrels and Brännland Cider will switch to a higher degree of barrel fermentations in the years to come seeing as these fermentations, as far as we can tell, are more harmonious and finishes on balance without interventions in the cidery.

About Brannland Cider

The cidery was established in 2009 by Andreas Sundgren, and the first commercial vintage was in 2012. Brannland Cider’s production centres on Ice cider, an apple ice wine, according to the Quebec appellation laws. It is the only Ice cider in Europe consistently produced using natural cold to concentrate the juice. Brannland produces naturally and follows winemaking practices throughout its range of products. 

For further information contact Andreas Sundgren +46 70 345 85 95