So here it is NYE eve and the final Wine Wednesday of 2015. For this year’s bubbly I’ve decided to go with Cava - Spain’s take on French Champagne. As you likely know, only wine from the Champagne region of France can be called Champagne. What’s interesting about Cava is that the same method is used to produce it (secondary fermentation) - Méthode Champenoise in Champagne. In Spain and with Cava it is referred to as Método Tradicional.
What is different is the grape varietals used. The three varietals for Champagne are Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier the last two being dark skinned grapes. With Cava the primary varietals used are native to Spain, Macabeo, Xarel.lo and Paellada all of which are white skinned grapes. Today’s feature the Segura Viudas Reserva Heredad (Brut) is comprised of 67% Macabeo and 33% Parellada and comes from Penedes, Spain near Barcelona.
You’ve likely had Cava before but may or may not have been aware of it. Many are quite inexpensive. Cava ranges from sweet to dry just like Champagne and the more inexpensive ones tend to be the sweeter ones. This Cava is a brut which is dry (brut nature being the driest). There’s a tendency to want to compare Cava to Champagne but to me they are distinctly different and equally enjoyable though Cava tends to be more economically friendly making it a great NYE choice especially if you’ll be raising a glass with several guests. This quality Cava was priced at $19.99. It is labeled as Reserva which means it was aged for a minimum of 15 months (though this particular one was aged for 30 months). The grapes were all harvested by hand and the riddling (turning of bottles during secondary fermentation) was also done by hand.
The bottle is quite striking which also makes it a great host/hostess gift and what’s inside lives up to the presentation. On the nose, tropical fruit (mango) and also pear with a hint of fresh baked bread. On the palate an abundant amount of bubbles just a hint of sweetness, apple and lemon/lime. The finish is crisp and dry. Of course this is great by itself for the midnight toast but if you prefer your bubbly with dinner the wonderful acidity here makes it a great pairing with a creamy pasta dish like Prosciutto Pasta Roulade or Scallops with Fettuccine Alfredo.