Champagne & Sparkling Wine Club - June 2012
Learn the finer points to many of the wines we offer each month. Our club wines are expertly researched and selected for quality, value and uniqueness and every one has an interesting history. Here are some of the wines we are offering this month:
Vilarnau - Spain
NV Cava Brut
The Vilarnau winery is situated in Sant Sandurni d'Anoia, in the highest point of the region Espiells, 250m above sea level. Higher altitudes contribute to a slower maturation of the grapes producing wines with higher acidity, which makes the location of the estate ideal for the aged Cavas for which Vilarnau has become famous. Vilarnau controls 20 hectares of owned vineyards and 100 hectares through long term contracts. The grape varieties planted are Chardonnay, Macabeo, Xarel.lo, Parellada, Trepat, and Pinot Noir (they were the first winery to plant Pinot Noir in the region in 1991). Their Brut Cava is made from 50% Macabeo, 35% Parellada, and 15% Xarel.lo. The grapes are all fermented separately in stainless steel tanks for 30 days in order to achieve maximum varietal expression. The wines are then blended and bottled for the secondary fermentation in the bottle which lasts approximately 6 weeks. The wine is then aged for a minimum of 12 months in the bottle prior to disgorgement at which point the expedition liquor is added to achieve 10g/l of sugar. The finished cava is one with small bubbles with a persistent crown. Visually it is a bright pale yellow color with golden reflections. The nose is frank and intense with fruit aromas of green apple with toasted bread notes due to its ageing. There is good structure in the mouth with a good balance of flavors that are persistent and smooth. The finish is nice and long. Overall a round structured and well-balanced Cava. This is a serious Cava meant to be enjoyed by itself as an aperitif.
Sorelle Bronca - Italy
NV Prosecco Superiore Valdobbiadene DOCG
Some grapes are versatile, making good wine in a range of styles, and some grapes seem to have just one thing they do well; the Prosecco grape is only at its best when it is made into sparkling wine, and only when grown around the villages of Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, in the hills north-west of Venice. When it is grown and made correctly it has a pear-like aroma and flavor that is delightful, the perfect start to a meal. Unfortunately most Prosecco is made by large, industrial scale producers who buy base wine and then perform only the secondary (sparkling) fermentation themselves, often with mediocre results. By contrast, the Bronca sisters grow their own fruit in steep hillside vineyards, controlling the entire process themselves. Low yields and hillside grown fruit ensure that the wine has good concentration and acidity. This beauty is made from 100% Glera (formerly known as Prosecco) and pours a straw yellow with greenish highlights in the glass with a persistent mousse and fine perlage. The bouquet is filled with floral hints, most noticeably of wisteria and acacia flower as well as fruity notes of green apple. The flavor is fresh, elegant, very pleasant, harmonious and characterized by balanced acidity and tanginess. Ideal as an aperitif as well as throughout the meal it is perfect with sea food and raw fish such as oysters, sea truffles and scampi. It is also excellent with fish or white meat-based light and delicate first courses.
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