Wednesday, March 03, 2010

A Dry Spanish Sparkler for Champagne Lovers

If you think all Cava is fruity, perfectly enjoyable, but not too interesting--think again. (image from the great LA Food blog, Food She Thought, where you can also read another review of this wine)

I had a great bottle of Cava lately, and it made me realize I just don't know that much about the stuff other than it's from Spain, has bubbles, and is usually affordable.

The wine was the German Gilabert Brut Nature Reserva (domaineLA, $14.99; available elsewhere for $14-$15). This interesting Cava had a price point under $15 and an aromatic profile like Champagne: yeast, lemon pith, and mineral notes. It is dry--and I do mean dry--with no sugar added (the technical term is dosage). Bright, intense lemon and bread dough flavors are accented by a bit of stoniness in the aftertaste. Fine, abundant, active bubbles make for a very fresh, brisk feeling in the mouth, although the overall impression is rather creamy despite the dryness.

If tasted blind, I think that most would think it was a French sparkler, perhaps an inexpensive Champagne. And if you like very dry sparkling wine but have steered clear of Cava in the past fearing it might be too fruit-forward for your tastes, I think you will be pleasantly surprised by this.


Jill said...

First, a big congrats on your much-deserved Saveur nomination. Really thrilled for you!

Second, happy you enjoyed this. It's really great stuff for the money, and we had a very similar response. I have another Cava worth trying, the Raventos i Blanc that is even more minerally and austere than this, and I'd love to get your response to that one as well.

While the Cava that comes into the US market has often been a great value, until recently I think a lot of the offerings have been on the more simple end. I think we're starting to see some more serious offerings, which, thankfully, still offer great QPR.


gih said...

I can't take it. I only drink 25%. :-)

Kevin Glowacki said...

This sounds like something I'd really like, especially since it is a Brut Nature (no dosage), a dosage you rarely see. Hopefully, it is available here in GA.

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gih said...

hhmm.. seems it also gives great taste wine.

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