Today I noticed a bird had pecked a hole in one of the apples on the wild-sown variety I've been trialling (referred to as the 'Wolvercote Wonder' by my other half, in homage to the Borsetshire Beauty). When the birds think fruit is edible, generally that's a sign that even if not ripe to human standards, the fruit needs picking.
I decided to trial this variety on the basis of a few over-ripe, but wonderfully colourful, large apples I found near the railway track about 3 or 4 years ago, a chance seedling from a core thrown from a train, as the land has been scrubby pasture as long as anyone can remember. My memory is that they were very promising, but memory can play tricks of course. This was the first year that my scion was large enough to flower, and the crop was profuse. I thinned them a little, but the fruit size seemed good, and they have all reached large-medium size, about the size of a Gala, and a wonderful deep pink with blue-ish bloom. The bloom started fading about 10 days ago, now they are a wonderful, glossy mid red, one of the most attractive apples I've seen. On a length of cordon of just over metre, there are 25+ fruits, all of good size.
The fruit isn't quite at peak ripeness, the non-blushed side is still green. First bite very crisp, almost to Granny Smith standards, with a densely fruity flavour like Gala. No complexity of aftertaste. Skin a little tough, better peeled, flesh a little chewy once the initial flavour rush has faded possibly just because they aren't fully ripe, but very promising so far. And perfect timing for us, as we have just about run out of other apples, the Rosemary Russet is not quite ready and can be kept until March anyway; November-December apples are just what we need.