NV Casteller Brut Cava, Spain
The Wine of the Week by Annette Tomei
Cava, as we have discussed before, is Spain’s traditional method (fka méthode champenoise) sparkling wine from the Catalonia region. Cava must be aged on its lees for at least 9 months and attain a final alcohol level between 10-13%. The Brut designation has up to 12 grams of residual sugar – an almost-undetectable amount that contributes to a smooth mouthfeel, and enhances the ripeness of fruit flavors.
Casteller Cava is produced by the largest grower in the Penedés region from fruit they reserve for their own use. They produce what may be considered a “textbook Cava”, blending three of the most traditional grapes of the region – specifically, 40% Macabeo, 40% Xarello, and 20% Parellada. These three grapes comprise a signature blend of this region.
Macabeo is also known as Viura in Rioja, it brings a light, crisp and aromatic character to the blend. Xarello brings plenty of acidity and structure (it’s quite high in the antioxidant resveratrol). Parellada brings green apple aromas and rounds out the other two.
This wine has a lovely pale straw color with fine but assertive mousse. The aroma of green apple prevails, with a touch of chalky minerality as well. The fruitiness on the palate is nicely integrated with yeasty baked good aromas… think lime-scented madeleines.
The tartness is refreshing, and an almost-imperceptible sweetness gives body. The finish is refreshing and crisp. This is a good wine for aperitifs and to enjoy throughout a simple summer meal. It’s also sturdy enough to enjoy with heartier flavors, especially earthy vegetables – curries and other complexly seasoned dishes. That slight hint of sweetness makes this a great accompaniment to spicy foods, and maybe even a lime-scented madeleine!
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