December 2015 - Christmas - Wine of the month
At Christmas time we all have celebrations with the family or friends, and what is better than a Champagne for a toast? The answer is simple: a good and affordable cava.
Robert J. Mur Brut Nature Reserva Especial Tradició is a Cava from the Penedès region (Catalonia, north-east of Spain), made with a selection of wines produced with the grapes Xarel·lo 60%, Macabeu 20% and Parellada 20%. These grapes are the main ones from the area, but Chardonnay, Malvasia, Monestrell and Pinot Noir, among others, are also authorised.
Why are these sparkling wines produced in Spain called Cava? In the mid 50’s of the last century, a Catalan company was selling in the United Kingdom, with a certain success, a wine labelled with the name “Spanish Champagne”. That began to draw the attention of the large companies distributing Champagne from France, and after a series of lawsuits, it was established that the word Champagne could only be used to describe the wine produced in this precise region, under the rulings of the AOC Champagne. It was not until 1986, with the incorporation of Spain into the EEC, when it was published that the denomination “Cava” is reserved for quality sparkling wines produced by the traditional method in the Determined Region for Cava, which comprises around 85 municipalities, mainly from the Penedès area, only 13 of them being from outside Catalonia.
For a Cava, the word Reserva means that the time the wine has been in contact with the yeasts for the second fermentation in the bottles is at least 15 months. In our Cava Robert J. Mur Brut Nature Reserva, this time has been 24 months. Usually, the longer this period is, the better are the qualities of the Cava, with an influence especially on its bouquet and smoothness.
Robert J. Mur Brut Nature Reserva looks brilliant, with a pale yellow colour and subtle greenish reflects. Its effervescence is dynamic, with several strings of fine bubbles ascending to the surface and forming a delicate ring on it.
Although its smell is not particularly intense and complex, it is fresh, with citric and green apple notes. In the background we find the effects of having been aged for a long period with the yeasts: a suggestive touch of fine bakery (brioche) and a hint of toasted nuts.
The taste is also fresh, gentle, and balanced, evoking fruits. You can feel its smoothness in your mouth, and a correct acidity. It offers a medium persistence, but in the end you can sense again the bakery notes, and a touch of candied fruits.
It especially matches steamed mussels, and combines perfectly with any starter or snack, rice with fish, cream soups, pasta and cream desserts.
Alcohol: 11,5 %. Serve at 6 – 8 ºC Price: from 7,00 € to 9,00 € Available from Terra de Vins (Manacor) and on the Internet.