257/365 – Catalonia – D.O. Cava – Pira – Celler Carles Andreu – Cava Reserva Barrica Brut Nature
Clear and golden straw colour, with a thin and consistent rosary of bubbles, it presents itself during the tasting as a very fruitful Cava and with a fine fusion between the wine and the barrel. In the mouth it is smooth with a good structure and some notes of wood in the background, fresh and persistent, with an explosion of little bubbles that gives a nice tickling feeling. This Cava is made using a meticulous selection of base wines from Macabeu, Parellada and Chardonnay, grapes from vines with a balanced yield. After separate vinification of the three varieties, the final “coupage” is prepared and the wine is then aged in French oak barrels for around six months before the second fermentation in the bottle. The second fermentation is carried out very slowly with these Cavas, at a constant temperature of 14ºC. The ageing period is prolonged to twenty-six months.
The regulatory body of D.O. Cava dates back to the year 1959 when the Trade Regulations of Sparkling and Fizzy Wines were established, in which the term Cava appears for the first time. A subsequent Order of the Ministry of Agriculture dated 23 April 1969 sets out the regulations for sparkling and fizzy wines, and Cava was acknowledged as the term for sparkling wines produced using the “classic system of fermentation in the bottle and ageing in the “cava”, and could therefore “designate its products as Cava”. This definition was the basis for designating the product with this name.
The Cava Region, or should I say the Appellation of Cava, comprises a total of 159 municipalities in the provinces of Barcelona (63), Tarragona (52), Lleida (12), Girona (5), La Rioja (18), Alava (3), Zaragoza (2), Navarra (2), Valencia (1) and Badajoz (1), which together conform the delimited Cava producing area and are therefore the only ones with the full legal capacity to produce this type of sparkling wine and market it under this name. The municipality of Sant Sadurní d’Anoia is the heart and origin of this region, its driving force. Its spirit lies not merely in an area, a territory, but in the tradition, the style of winemaking, a blind faith in the quality of the product and a keen enthusiasm in disseminating this special beverage.
This is a small bodega that started only in 1991 by Carles Andreu, it also bears his name. It’s located in the very nice village of Pira. The old Masia (manor house) Cal Celdoni has existed since 1796 but today wine making is fairly young.
The Mas of Cal Celdoni was bought by Carles ancestor from the monks of the Monastery of Poblet. Cavas that are produced here surpass some of the Cavas made in neighboring D.O. Penedès. If that is true or not, is for each and everyone to determine on their own, what I know (and appreciate) is the boldness of Carles when he decided to make the first red wine in the world containing 100% Trepat!
First time I tried their Cava was in a restaurant. Can’t remember the restaurant but the Cava stayed in my memory and I decided that a visit was long overdue! If there is one winemaker that is a must to visit in Conca de Barbera, it is this one! Then again, I always say that! Go figure!
The main varieties grown are Trepat, Parellada, Macabeo and Chardonnay. They are currently doing some testing with Xarel.lo and Garnacha. As the production is kept to a minimum, the grape selection is rigorous as the grapes are received, but the first selection is made already in the vineyards.
The extraction (pressing) of the grapes intended for Cava is very gentle. Only 60% is extracted and it is done slow to control, as far as it’s possible, that only must from the centre of the pulp is flowing, to avoid areas close to the skin and the seed, which provide herbal flavors and favor oxidation.
Each variety is vinified separately by the lowest possible temperature to preserve what little flavor Parellada and Macabeu give. Then the blend is for the base wines that give rise to future Cavas.
Trepat is a red Spanish wine grape variety that is grown primarily in the Conca de Barberà and Costers del Segre. The grape is likely to be indigenous to northeast Spain and today there are approximately 1,500 hectares of the variety used mostly for light rosé wine and Cava. The D.O. Conca de Barberà is one of the main wine regions in that grows Trepat.
In Catalonia, Trepat is mainly found in the blended rosé wines of Conca de Barberà and Costers del Segre where it is often blended with other varieties. Over the years Trepat has been known under a variety of synonyms including: Bonicaire, Embolicaire, Parrel, Trapat, Traput and Trepan.
Trepat is quite particular when it come to soils and doesn’t not thrive everywhere, but it seems to be resistant to most fungal diseases. It is a early riser and is thus susceptible to frost damage, which is more of a problem in this region at some of the higher altitudes but it is normally planted in vineyards on lower altitudes.
Bright red color with cherry hues and red edges. Low to medium layers and moderately slow tears. Primary aromas of ripe red fruit (currants and strawberries), toasted oak is noted but very subtle. Followed up by spicy notes, black pepper and nutmeg, balsamic, sweet licorice. Nice and tasty on the palate, good acidity, red fruits (currants and plums), intense notes that give character and personality, spicy, light menthol. Good structure and persistent. Long aftertaste of ripe fruit and spices. Kept developing and this could easily have stayed in the bottle another few years as it will improve.
127 to go!