Rochelt Basel Cherry
The initial nose fell flat. Alcohol with hints of fruit. Later that night Borger convinced me to try it again and hold the glass in my hand for 10 minutes. Then nose it again. It is ridiculous how much this juice blossomed. Guess it just needed a little love. BAAM. Tart cherries and grapefruit zest. A vibrant smell that flits and floats across the roof of my brain. Now this is interesting. It’s not as perfumed or captivating as the Wachau Apricot, but it has character.
I love my first taste. And when I came back to the sample the next day, still lovely. It coats my tongue, a warm tickle as it travels. The palate is definitely more interesting than the nose. The alcohol is present but the fruit wins the battle. This isn’t a sweet cherry. It is tart and sassy.
But then things got weird. When I warmed it up in my hand and the nose came to life, the palate falls apart. The alcohol jumps to the forefront and befouled my mouth. WTF?!? So we have a conundrum. Do you warm it for the nose, or leave it be for the sipping. I’d pick my mouth over my schnozz in this case.
Ryan, who was drinking it with me from his own sample, poured a couple drops in his hands and gently cupped it to his face. Like he was at a Nordstroms perfume counter. And then began bitching it smells like grape must in a winery and couldn’t find the cherries. I can corroborate the grape must vibe. Ryan’s got a good nose. He liked the Basel Cherry just fine, but I’m definitely a bigger fan of this edition. He’s excited for when I get to try the Black Elderberry which is his standout. So there are a lot of ways to approach a Rochelt.
Shane’s Rating: 7/10 || Ryan’s Rating: 5/10
Rochelt Gravenstein Apple
To me, the Gravenstein is a moonshine throwback. Overwhelming booze, with hints of subtle sour apple. Not my jam in the slightest. But my buddy Goi raved. We’d just finished thanksgiving meal, and were sitting on the balcony watching 20 foot waves rolling over the reef. He liked it better than the Apricot. Of course he is a lovable idiot and you shouldn’t trust him at all about booze. But when it comes apples that is another story. I don’t know anyone who eats more apples and loves their varieties. So if Goi was able to get past the fumes to the fame, you might too.
Shane’s Rating: 4/10 || Ryan’s Rating: 4/10
I got this sample for free from the distributor, as I’m buying a cask of Armagnac for a group. They saw on Facebook that I had never tried Rochelt and always wanted to. That gorgeous bottle art photo is from the Rochelt Website.