Spirits / Calvados / Calvados Michel Huard
Calvados Michel Huard - AOC Calvados
Calvados has three appellations: The Pays d'Auge demands double distillation and is usually made with only apples. Calvados Domfrontais uses a single distillation and must contain at least 30% pears. The largest appellation is simply called AOC Calvados, and its crus are spread all over Normandy. Spirits from these areas are normally made with only apples and are single-distilled.
The Huard family have lived on the Le Pertyer property in the Suisse-Normand for 5 generations. Jean-Francois Guillouet, who fully took over in 2012 when his grandfather Michel died, is the seventh generation. If one were to consider the properties of Camut and Giard from the Domaine de Montreuil as the most stunning examples of hautes-tiges plantings in the Pays d'Auge, and Lemorton as the most revered property in the Domfrontais, the Huard property would have to be considered the most admired in AOC Calvados.
Nearly 1,800 trees on standard rootstock grace the 15-hectare property, sitting on a loamy soil composed of an ideal combination of silt and clay. Around 20 varieties of apple, mostly the sweet and bittersweet types, are grown and tended to here (along with the family's 50 steer!).
The cider is fermented and aged for about 8 months, then distilled in a traveling column still. The spirits then go into large, elongated barrels, stained black by time, or well-seasoned 400 liter barrels where there complex apple flavors develop.
video: Oscar Beckmann
Calvados Michel Huard Hors d'Age NV
This Hors d'Age release comes from a careful blend of barrels from.three vintages. It shows deep green apple, vanilla and honey notes, a touch of almond, a soft mouthfeel, and a pleasingly long finish. A step up in development from the entry-level releases and a wonderful representation of the third Calvados appellation!
Calvados Michel Huard 20 Ans d'Age NV
Calvados Michel Huard 1993
Calvados Michel Huard 1999
Calvados Michel Huard 2004
Calvados Michel Huard “Sélection” 2009
Note: not all these Calvados are currently available
In December 2015, photographer Michael Housewright accompanied us on a trip to see our spirits producers. Included below are some shots he took during our visit. You can view more of Michael's work at housewrighter.com