Spirits / Calvados / Calvados Lemorton
Calvados Lemorton - Domfrontais
FACT: CALVADOS IS NOT MADE WITH APPLES ALONE
While many people refer to it as an apple brandy, pears are also allowed in Calvados. The Northern part of Calvados, particularly the appellation Pays d'Auge, has a softer soil more conducive to the shallow roots of apple trees. Nearly all Calvados from the Pays d'Auge is made with apples alone.
In contrast, the southern appellation of Calvados, the Domfrontais, has clay and limestone soil much more suited to the strong, deep roots of pear trees. Appellation law insists that at least 30% of the cider to be distilled in the Domfrontais is made from pears. This pear influence makes not only for a lighter-colored spirit, but also one which emits a more feminine and elegant bouquet.
The Lemorton family has a long history in the Domfrontais. Roger (right) is the fifth generation and his son (Didier, left, with his son) now runs the domaine. Their 9-acre property is planted with both apple and pear trees; the latter's influence is dominant--for every 3 apples in their Calvados, there are approximately 7 pears. All trees are planted high in order to preserve the orchards’ biodiversity, and when ready the ripe fruit is simply allowed to drop to the bed of grass below so the family can collect it.
The Lemortons distill their cider after aging it for 11 months in oak barrels. Distillation takes place in their own alambic, a single-distillation unit that distills to about 140 proof. The clear spirit then goes into barrels which have an average age of 30 years.
The Lemortons sell some excellent young blends, including a 5- and 10-year-old. The jewels of the family crown, however, are the vintages from the 1970's. These are spirits which still retain their fruit while fully displaying their terroir and breed.
The family also produces a lovely Pommeau de Normandie which we (when we are fortunate!) occasionally carry.
Calvados Lemorton Domfrontais Selection NV
Calvados Lemorton Domfrontais Réserve NV
Golden straw. Light pear aromas along with a touch of vanilla. Pear and floral notes on the nose and palate. Slightly richer texture with a bit more tannin and better length.
Calvados Lemorton Domfrontais 25 Ans d'Age NV
Calvados Lemorton Domfrontais 1972
Amber with gold highlights. Smells rich, somewhere between apple and pear along with a toffee note. Complex nuances include licorice, almond, orange and woodsmoke. Very soft mouthfeel. Sexy Domfrontais. Excellent length.
Calvados Lemorton Domfrontais 1978
Amber. The young pear notes are beginning to converge with rich apple flavors. Additional notes of flowers, almond and vanilla. Delicate texture. Touch of pear skin and a wisp of woodsmoke on the finish. Very good length
Calvados Lemorton Domfrontais 1980
Calvados Lemorton Domfrontais 1987
Calvados Lemorton Poiré NV
Calvados Lemorton Cidre NV
Calvados Lemorton Pommeau de Normandie NV
A delicious blend of juice from the family's "high stem" tall trees, dosed with young Domfront Calvados (70% pear and 30% apple brandy). The resulting spirit is sweet with great depth, but balanced out by high acidity--in other words, perfect on its own as an aperitif or as part of the many creative cocktails that have become popular in recent years.