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Spirits | Calvados

"Just put a dab on your wrist and smell," says Etienne Dupont, head of Domaine Dupont distillery in Normandy. Dupont is demonstrating the complexities of the '62, '72 and '89 vintages of Domaine Dupont Calvados, all of which have recently started hitting stores in the U.S. "There's a richness in aroma, flavor and finish that's unique to aged Calvados," Dupont explains, pointing out the geranium and vanilla notes (from $75; 212-759-5857).

The Duponts aren't the only new Calvados choices from Normandy: From Manoir d'Apreval in the Pays d'Auge area comes a line of Calvados and cider made in small presses from 24 varieties of handpicked apples. Apreval's Calvados XO and Réserve blends have a warm, spicy flavor and exceptional depth (from $45: 212-588-0871).

A few dozen bottles of Coeur De Lion's 800th Anniversary Calvados, a blend of vintages ranging from 15 to 60 years old, have also arrived stateside recently. Since distiller Christian Drouin produced such limited quantities—only 800 bottles—we suggest skipping the wrist test and drinking the stuff instead ($250; 212-685-2442).

Jessica Blatt

Published May 2003
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