Thursday, July 25, 2013

OOH...Cava

Cava is Spain's answer to Champagne. Yes, it's produced in the same traditional method as Champagne. The second fermentation takes place in the bottle.  That's about the only similarity as the grapes in the bottle are completely different.

So let's visit the Penedes region of Catalonia in northeastern Spain for a minute.  That is where Cava is produced.  The spiritual heart of the Cava designation is the town of San Sadurni de Noya which is located West of Barcelona.  It's a low-lying area close to the Mediterranean so it has moderate daily temps and a bit of humidity.

Now let's visit the gapes in Cava.  There are three varieties that go into Cava.  They are Macebeo, Xarel-lo and Parellada.  Each of these grapes brings a different characteristic to the bubbly.  The Macabeo will produce a dry wine with subtle aroma.  The Xarel-lo is a full bodied wine with a good amount of acidity.  This is the basis for most Cava blends.  It brings freshness and great aroma to the wine.  Then we have Parellada which is grown in the higher elevations of the region.  It produces smooth wine and has a delicate aroma.

Cava's are blanc de blancs and use similar classification as Champagne based on sweetness.  Brute nature, extra brut, brut, seco, semi-seco, dulce (in order of dry to sweet)

So that's my Cava lesson for today onto the tasting...Campos De Estrellas Estate Cava Brut.

Campos de Estrellas Estate Brut Cava is grown on a single estate that has silicate sandy soil in the Penedes region 10km from the sea.  The vines are between 30 and 50 years old.  The Cava is aged 15 months on the lees before being disgorged and released.

Blended with 40% Xarel-lo, 30% Macabeu and 30% Parellada, it has an alcohol content of only 11.90%. The wine had beautiful tight bubbles. Straw yellow in color with aromas of apple, melon, hints of peaches and soft breadiness.  The palate was well balanced a hint of honey and a nice clean finish.

A yummy wine and very affordable at $9.99!!!




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