Tonight’s brew is a special one, a bottle of Cantillon Vigneronne from my recent haul of Cantillon beers.
It’s a Lambic style ale, spontaneously fermented with wild yeast in the bottle after being brewed with Italian Muscat grapes and aged in oak barrels.
The flavor profile is sour, fruity, woody, and dry. An excerpt straight from Cantillon’s website gives a good synopsis of this beer’s history and connection to a fine wine:
“In 1973, Jean-Pierre Van Roy, after having relaunched successfully the production of raspberry lambic, bought white grapes and soaked them in lambic. This experiment was successful too. The fructose, which abounds in these fruits, enables us to make a beer which is more mellow than the Gueuze or the other fruit beers.
The name Vigneronne Cantillon was given in 1987. This name reminds us that, while it belongs to the beer patrimony, the spontaneous fermentation, the ageing in the barrels for several years and the addition of grapes make it a distant cousin of certain white wines. ”
Because of it’s style, Vigneronne can age and mature for 10-20 years, so buy a couple if you can get your hands on this beer.
Here’s my full review:
Poured from a 750 ml bottle into a Cantillon tulip glass. Purchased in Wakefield, RI.
Appearance- Pours a hazy dull orange-hay colored body with a fast moving, fizzy white head that rises quickly and reduces just as quickly. Lots of fast moving carbonation. No lacing.
Smell- Smells pretty acidic, particularly citrusy with aromas of oranges, funky yeast, lemon peel, hay, and a musty, wet wood aroma in the background. Malt is definitely present. The last few sips produce a cheesy aroma.
Taste- The second it hits your tongue, Vigneronne’s wild yeast punches you in the taste buds with a sour burst of lemon juice, tart grapes, sour apple, and orange juice. The follow through is woody, musty, and full of citrus rind, but the sharp tart fruit notes really take center stage here. Very forward with the brett and quite tasty. Aftertaste is tart and very dry.
Moutfeel- Super crisp and refreshing. I downed the first glass in under a minute because it is that drinkable and thirst quenching.
This was my second Cantillon beer, and I have to say that it also lived up the the hype. The puckering tartness works perfectly here. Extremely balanced. Maybe a little less complex than other sours I’ve tried, but nonetheless world class.
- It’s Pronounced “Goo-za” (craftbeerhaven.wordpress.com)