Canadian Ice Cider (Cidre de Glace)
Although the Québecquois were not allowed to produce cider of any sort until a change in the alcohol laws in the 1970s,ice cider has now become Québec’s answer to Ontario’s ice wine.  It is produced mainly in the Montérégie and Eastern Townships regions of Montreal: there are now about 15 cider houses in the Montérégie region.  There are two methods for making ice cider: cryoconcentration and cryoextraction.  The first, cryoconcentration, is the most common method for making ice cider and uses the very late autumn, very ripe apples, which are pressed and the juice is left outside to freeze.  Around the end of January the freezing process has concentrated the must and separated the water from the sugar, which is then fermented for six or seven months.  This method needs around 5 kg of apples to produce one 375ml bottle.  Cryoextraction is closer to the method used for ice wine: in the middle of January, when the temperature is between -8°C and -15°C, they collect apples that have been left on the ground and on the tree, and which are frozen hard.  The frozen apples are pressed and the juice fermented, again for six or seven months.  It takes at least 50 apples to make one 375ml bottle using this method.

2006 Neige Cidre de Glace, La Face Cachée de la Pomme, Québec, 12%
This is simply nectar of apple on the nose.  Lovely, delicate, sweetish appley palate.  Mainly Macintosh apples.  90/100

2004 Neige éternelle Cidre de Glace, La Face Cachée de la Pomme, Québec, 11%
This is aged longer than the ‘straight’ Neige.  There’s less of a fresh apples feel on the nose, and much more of a British cider-like nose.  The palate is much less fresh too, and again, much more cider-like in its flavours – but overall, it’s very definitely a sweet wine, and not a sweet cider.  88/100

2006 Frimas Cidre de Glace, La Face Cachée de la Pomme, Québec, 11%
This is made from apples left to freeze on the tree.  It has more of a fresh apple nose than the neige éternelle, but not so much as the plain neige.  On the palate, this is the most wine-like, and certainly most ice-wine like in its searing purity and concentration of apple fruit.  Not oversweet.  Very fresh and clean.  91/100


Domaine Leduc-Piedimonte, Rougemont, Québec
Domaine Leduc-Piedimonte is based in Rougemont, the apple capital of Québec.  It is owned and operated by Robert McKeown and Andrée St-Denis, the name of the company coming from their maternal grandmothers surnames.  The company is a member of Slow Food.

NV McKeown Cidre de la Montagne Rouge Sec, Cidre léger pétillant, 6%
Cider isn’t normally my drink, but I found this to be a crisp, dry, refreshing sparkling cider.

2006 Cidre de Glace, Vallée Montérégienne, Leduc-Piedimont, Québec, 10.5%
This has a gentle, subtle apple nose.  Clean, crisp and precise on the palate.  89/100

2006 Cidre de Glace Réserve Privée, Vallée Montérégienne, Leduc-Piedimont, Québec, 10%
Quite honeyed on the nose.  Very elegant palate.  You could easily be fooled into thinking this was a riesling ice wine.  Not really very appley at all.  90/100


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Last updated: 27 April 2009