'Basking in the aura of the open sky, a warm breath arrives at the doorstep carrying the soft sizzling of the nearby wheat field, in the background home prepares fresh rice balls rolled over a medley of fresh squeezed juices -orange, tangerine, lemon and finally a dash of grapefruit; the savory rim combined with the dry air, whisks you back to childhood, days of yore to a safe respite...'
Lately I've been on a sparkling kick and had the inclination to hunt for Cavas, unfortunately out of the three or four that I've had recently my expectations were drawn too high, this one may not be one of the more interesting representations but is an easygoing quaffing bubbly. Right from the outset there are a ton of bubbles and then they quickly recede... and I mean quickly...and over the course of a few hours there was little if any sense of evolution in this bubbly. The nose insinuates a generic palate of soft citric fruits (orange, tangerine, etc...) but those too quickly flee the scene leaving one to wonder where the wine went --pretty much what you smelled is what you taste: a small residual bead in this easygoing, tasty, and light Cava with a dry and crisp finish. - 11.5%ABV
With over 95% of Cava grown in the Penedes -a region between Barcelona and Tarragona in Catalonia, Spain -Marragut is specifically from a 247 acre vineyard situated in Vilafranca, a town that became the main local center in the 12th century and then the center of the local wine industry. Following the phylloxera plague that devastated most of the vineyards in Europe, a large number of red grape vines were replaced with white grape vines and in 1872 Josep Raventós produced his first Cava using the traditional method after having visited Champagne in the 1860s. It wasn't until 1970 when the term 'Cava' was officially adopted, a word derived from the Latin word 'cavea' which means cellar or cave in Catalonia. Following Champagne, winemakers follow specific conditions: all must be aged on lees for no less than nine months and have a final alcohol level no less than 10% and no more than 13% (though if they could go higher, i would love to see what that does to a sparkling!). There are only eight regions in Spain allowed to produce wine labelled 'Cava.'
Winery: Bodegas Pinord (http://www.pinord.com/) the current incarnation, was established in 1942 by Josep Maria Tetas but pulls from over one-hundred and fifty years of winemaking experience starting with the Tetas family who established their estate in the municipality of Sant Cugat Sesgarrigues 2.5 miles away. The name 'Pinord' is derived from 'Pi Del Nord' or pine of the north which used to stand on the original property.
Winemaker: Juan Jose Tetas Marrugat
Geography & Climate: Penedes has a mild winter and summer Mediterranean climate with soil types ranging between clay, limestone, and sand.
Grapes & Production: Macabeo (aka Viura), Xarello, & Parellada are the three traditional grapes used in Cava, they are fermented separately and blended before secondary fermentation in the bottle for over twelve months. Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Malvasia can be used as well in Cava. Macabeo and Parellada bring acidity and freshness while Xarello imparts the distinctive earthy flavors.
Importer: Vinaio Imports
PoP: Vino En Wyckoff, Brooklyn, NY - $11.99
UPDATE!!! - 3/3/13 - I recently had the chance to try the Marrugat Semiseco and to be honest it's pretty much the same as the Brut except for some additional green-apple/pear fruit: light, crisp, and the same fun and happy bubbles that fizzle away quickly. The wine was so flat and uninteresting it was like staring into a field of yellow without any distinguishing features pull anything from it. Maybe I'll try it again but there are others...