Chalkdown 2015 Vintage Cider Review

Vital Stats:

Producer: Chalkdown
Cider Name: 2015 Vintage
Region: Hampshire
ABV: 8.3%
Taste: Dry
Served: Lightly chilled 750ml bottle
Smell: Green Apple
Colour: Golden/Yellow
Clarity: Clear
Carbonation: Sparkling

Review/Tasting Notes:

From: Chalkdown Cider
Date: 28/02/20

As mentioned earlier this month, I am slowly getting into the cider reviews again, after an extended period away. With the emphasis definitely on slow, as I’m frantically typing with one hand due to dislocating a shoulder (AGAIN!). And no not done in an exciting way either; Overstretching on a ladder is apparently all it takes! I could turn to video reviews or voice typing but that aint my thing. First up on the cider reviews this decade is the 2015 Vintage cider from Chalkdown, who won the International Cider Challenge Trophy for best bottle fermented/bottle conditioned cider for two years running in 2017 and 2018.

On the label it says:

“Chalkdown is a premium cider crafted from specially selected apples grown in the South Downs.

The cider undergoes a secondary fermentation in bottle and is then left for an extended period to allow lees ageing before degorgement to remove the yeast.

Flavours of fresh English apples, with biscuits and baked apples are complemented by beautifully fine and graceful bubbles to create an elegant and refreshing drink that’s perfect as an aperitif or to celebrate any occasion.

Best served chilled in a flute glass”

Going on the fact it takes 3 years to make each bottle & it’s made in Champagne style, then you can see it’s aiming for the ‘Fine Cider’ end of the market to entice a wine drinker into cider. Not necessarily a style that I favour the most, but I can appreciate it around the right company. Today I have a few friends over, so what better way than to share with them?!?

This poured with a lively foam, which filled most of the glass initially. This settled down to give a small head with a fresh green apple aroma.

The first taste was silky smooth, sharp/acidic/sour green cooking apple flavours and a drying feel in the aftertaste. What felt lightly sweeter initially does take a great dry turn the more you drink it. The look and feel is certainly very Champagne like, but the flavour is very much as if biting into a juicy, ripe apple. There’s no real tannins, plenty of acidity and a sharp twang to it.

Here’s a few thoughts from my friends:

Jay: “Champagne taste to start with, sour and then dried out my mouth” 7/10

Kirsty: “It combines my 2 favourite tastes – Prosecco & Cider. A lovely fresh taste. I want to buy a bottle now!” 9/10

Overall, it’s a sophisticated cider that is a perfect replacement for a glass of bubbly. I’d certainly celebrate with a glass on that special occasion, but not one to go out drinking with your mates in a pub. What I’m really missing is some tannins, but again that’s a personal preference.

Would I buy this again?: Yes
Overall Rating: 7.5/10

Disclaimer: This was a free sample from Chalkdown Cider, however this had no bearing on my review of this cider.


1 Response so far »

  1. 1

    Michael said,

    lovely review; tannins often don’t go very well with sparkling. But I like some tannins in my cider too

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