Charlie Harvey

Review — Barkaiztegi Sagardo Naturala

Barkaiztegi Cosecha 2010 Sagardo Natarala

A bit of a rare treat this one! I’ve been wanting to try some of the cider from the Basque country for ages now. And whilst I was in Amsterdam going to the Unlike Us conference and visiting pals, I got given a bottle of Barkaiztegi by one of them.

The bottle is a proper tall wine bottle sort of affair, with a real cork and everything but the stuff inside isn't at all pretentious or posh tasting like, say an Aspalls premier cru. This is good honest bittersharp country cider. Or perhaps I should say sagardo — the Basque word for cider. Its sharp. Like lemon burning sharp. Bit like the Roger Wilkins famrhouse cider I reviewed last year.

Lovely basque cider by way of amsterdam

Weighing in at a medium strength 6%, this is definitely the sort of cider one could go out and party with. The supersharp tang would refresh the hell out of me at a festival. The cider is lightish yellow, a little like a cloudier old rosie. Its definitely very cloudy with some lumps of sediment at the bottom of the bottle. You'd want to pour it in one go.

Running the cidermaker’s website through a translate tool I learn that the Irizar family have been running a restaurant and cider house in San Sebastian since 1930. Not a bad run. And a very nice bit of cider too. Whilst I finish off the bottle, I am going to have a read about the history of Basque cidermaking. Until next cidertime, agur…

2012-03-18 by Charlie Harvey


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  • #213


    Be careful with basque cider history...

    It use to happen that the new reinaissance of cider consume in Basque country (in the 80's) and their well known reputation to distort the history makes you believe all what they writte about cider....

    It´s true that cider culture was always present in Guipuzcoa, one of the basque regions. But it´s also true that cider disappeared in the other 2 basque regions and Navarra already more than 500 years ago. In fact those regions are nowadays wine regions, and just some people is consuming cider again really slowly.

    Beginning last century, also cider in Guipuzcoa was decrasing until 80´s, with a production of 1 mill. Liters for all region.

    In that time a couple of people force a new age for cider, mixing all traditions, like drinking directly from wooden cask, with cider culture imported from the principal and oldest cider region in Spain, Asturias.

    So actual glass, the way of pouring the cider, most of old big wood casks you can find in basque cider pubs, production technologies...cames from Asturias, even when they try to sell the idea that everything is a millenium-old culture of this people.´s just a tip, be careful with all what they say or you read, specially when it´s written in another language like english.

    In spanish they are not so bold with their myths.

  • #217


    OK, VACO thanks for the information, be great if you could cite some sources to back up your claims too.