Macabeo, Xarel-lo, Parellada
Cava is most simply described as a Spanish sparkling wine. Unlike Champagne or Prosecco, it is not named after a specific region or grape used, but from the original caves the wine was aged in. All Cava must be aged 'sur lie' for at least nine months. It was first produced in the 1870's and was called Champaña, in reference to its French counterpart. Sparkling wine is made with two fermentations. First, the production of the still wine, and then secondary fermentation to produce the bubbles. The "licor de triage", a mixture of white wine, sugar and yeast, is added to the base wine, initiating the second fermentation.
Cava is made up of three core varietals, but others can be used to produce variants like a Cava Rosè, and more French grapes like Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are being used. 'Brut' lets us know the sweetness level (there is a similar scale for Champagne). Brut contains up to 12 g/L of sugar. Cava can age well, but this bottle should be enjoyed this year at 6 C.
Faint yellow with green reflections. The bubbles are fine and persistent, creating an airy foam that trickles off with time.
Green apple, underripe pear, and other crunchy, tart orchard fruits form the base. There are hints of zest and lime, balanced with a dough or biscuit, yeasty aroma. Slick minerality of wet stone and blanched almond round everything out. Light herbacious aromas flirt with vegetal tones.
The mousse is frothy and full on the palate, with lightly popping bubbles. Followed by crisp acidity and a medium body of citrus and orchard fruits. Macabeo, Xarel-lo, and Parellada are the most common and traditional grapes used in Cava. Macabeo offers ripe fruits and tropical notes, along with a potent floral note. Parellada is the source of that nuttiness and citrus and a richer body. And Xarello livens everything up with popping acidity.
We love this Cava for a before or after dinner treat! A glass before dinner to toast with, or with dessert -from cheesecake, to a creme brûlée with its sweet, caramelized top.