Our Apple Brandy is produced from over a dozen varieties of apples all grown in the cool coastal mountains of Northern California. We use everything from the local produced Hauer to a large component of crabapples. Indeed, we began distilling here in Soquel to take advantage of the long apple growing tradition on the Pajaro Valley. While our base cider is more reminiscent of of the ciders from the Basque coast, we use the traditional French distillation and aging techniques of Calvados. Apple is a difficult spirit to tame: it starts life with a fire and vengeance and must be coaxed and cajoled over many years to yield its pomey essence. Indeed, it takes almost a decade in barrel to soften and supple and come forth the apple character so loved on the French Atlantic coast. Our apple brandy has taught us patience, but after 15 years of waiting, we finally released our first bottling in 2010.
From older stocks of Colombard, Chenin Blanc, Semillon and Pinot Noir. For us, the brandies of Colombard from California have fantastic finesse and show the true potential of California Alambic brandies. However unlike the precocious Pinot Noir, Colombard takes decades to show its full potential. Thus, our XO is blended from brandies that have been in barrel for decades. While by old world standards our stocks are still young, our XO shows the rich development of Rancio with hints of orange peel, dried apricots, walnuts, cacao and a rich leatheriness.
Our Rare Alambic brandy is blended from brandies distilled from several varietal with empahsis on Pinot Noir, Semillon and Colombard. The Rare is blended to show the richness, fruit and floral qualities of California Alambic Brandies and the base of the more precocious Pinot Noir provides a strong, youthful platform on which to ground the blend. The Blend consists mostly of youthful brandies of ~6 years in barrel but also includes older stocks to add finesse and structure. The latest bottling, Lot V, is our best Rare Alambic yet. K&L Wine called this their Spirit of the Month: “…If you buy only one new spirit for this New Year, make it Osocalis brandy!”