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Bubbles…on a Budget; Parte Dos!

March 6, 2011

More cheap bubbles!!!


So, my sentiments on sparkling wine clearly haven’t changed since I wrote about it in “Bubbles…On A Budget” Still love ’em, but don’t want to pay out the tuchus for ’em. So when Andrea plopped two new, stylishly designed Cava’s on my desk to enter into our system, I practically shed a tear of joy. Our bubbles section hasn’t really seen a new addition since the holiday season, so needless to say I was chomping at the bit to get these two bottles home and into my fridge (and subsequently into my belly!)

Cava, as you may or may not know, hails from all over Spain, not just one specified region. More specifically; about 96% of all Cava is produced in the D.O. of Cataluña, with the remaining 4% coming fromValencia, Aragón, Navarra, Rioja & the Basque country. Generally, the Cavas are created by using grapes specific to the individual growing region–so each region has its own unique flavor profile.

Moving on to the wines! Andrea brought two German Gilabert Cavas in to Andover Liquors; the Brut Nature Reserva & the Brut Nature Rosat. I had only planned to taste and write-up the Rosat, but Andrea said I should make an effort to try both (twist my arm!)

I first sampled the German Gilabert Rosat at home after a long day at the store. Produced from Trepat (and indigenous Spanish grape typically used in lighter Rosé wines) and Garnacha, the wine spends 10 months on the lees and sees no dosage. I was immediately struck by the cranberry color (probably from the Garnacha), rarely do you find a sparkler with such intense color extraction. I popped the cork, only to have it explode all over my coffee table and my rug. Whoops! After cleaning up my mess, I finally enjoyed what made it into my glass. The nose on this Rosat is extraordinary, and is like nothing I have tried in the sparkling genre. Vibrant scents of fruit; red currants, crushed wild strawberries, and juicy blood oranges are interwoven with aromas of white flowers and a touch of herbs. The scents echo on the palate, with a bracingly dry finish. My lord, this stuff is good–and it’s nice to see a bone dry sparkling Rosé (not to say I don’t like wines with a touch of sweetness, it’s just refreshing — both literally and figuratively.) This could easily pair well with a host of meals, maybe even leaner red meats (flank steak over salad, anyone?) It’s definitely a sparkler for the red and traditional rosé wine lover.

About a week and one killer chest cold later, I was finally able to crack open the German Gilabert Brut Nature Reserva. Made from Macabeo, Xarello and Parellada, it spends 16 months on the lees and sees no dosage as well. This time around, I thought it would be nice to pair it with some foods. What luck! I was going to a celebratory birthday dinner that night and BYOB was accepted. Two birds, one stone, love when this happens. When we arrived, my bottle was whisked away to spend a few minutes on ice while we pondered the menu. When everything was decided and the orders were placed, the Cava made its reappearance. The cork was popped with (thankfully) much less fanfare than the Rosat. It poured a pale yellow with a glimmer of gold hues. Nuances of white fruits, pears, and yeast greet the nostrils. Mouth-filling notes of toast, white peach and maybe just a hint of dried grasses appear before a nice hit of minerals and cutting acidity. I could immediately tell our meals were the perfect complement for this wine! I’m guessing you’re probably wondering what we ordered, huh?

Round One

  • Warm golden beet salad with fried goat cheese, local honey and balsamic with a black truffle coulis
  • Tuna, wrapped with Phylo, avocado & cilantro salad, wasabi aoli.
  • Pairing with the Cava? Simply divine.

Round Two

  • Semolina Coated Fried Squid with Sweet and Spicy Tomato Chutney &
  • Duck, Boar and Berkshire Pork Loin Prosciuttos, Foie Gras Mousse, Seckel Pear and Blood Orange Sorbet
  • Paired with Cava? Mind-numbingly delicious…

Round Three

  • Gnocchi with Wild Mushrooms, Truffled Panko and Shaved Parmigiano
  • Sea Scallops with Meyer Lemon Risotto and Crispy Baby Artichoke
  • How’d it pair? “I’m on a drug. It’s called Charlie Sheen.” Re: disturbingly good.

Round Four (pants getting a wee bit tight at the point)

  • Duo of Creme Brulee
  • Flourless Chocolate Cake
  • Pairing? Well, the bottle didn’t survive that far…but I’m sure it would have been bitchin’ (well, maybe not with the cake…)

Waiter? A shot of Amaro, please…

So, to sum up my thoughts on these two Cavas? In the popular but twisted words of Charlie Sheen…”WINNING. Everyday.”

And the cherry on top? They’re both just $14.99….


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