This week’s sparkler is a Rosé Cava from Spain.  It’s an interesting blend of Trepat and Garnacha (Grenache), which are both dark-skinned grapes used to produce red wine.  Most Rosé sparkling wines are made using either light-skinned grapes such as Chardonnay, or a combination of light and dark-skinned grapes.

This wine is a special project custom-made for Jose Pastor, an importer of Spanish wines who lives in the Bay Area.   Pastor is passionate about “Lively wines from the coolest corners of Spain“.  He is passionate about terroir-driven, small-lot wines produced from organically grown fruit that is well priced.

For the uninitiated, here’s a quick 411 on Cava..

Unlike Champagne, Cava isn’t from a particular region in Spain, rather it’s a term used for Spanish sparklers made in the traditional method (known as Méthode Champenoise) used in France.  While there are some other regions in Spain that also make Cava,  about 95% of the production  comes from the traditional home of Cava, the Penedes region in Catalunya (a.k.a. Catalonia)  The basic rules for making wines that may be called Cava are:

  • Must be made in the traditional method.
  • Must age on lees in the bottle in which it will be sold for a minimum of 9 months, 18 months for Reservas and 24 months for Gran Reservas.
  • All the grapes used must be white grapes – the 3 most common being Macabeo (a.k.a. Viura), Parellada (pronounced pa-re-yada), and Xarel.lo (pronounced cha-rel-low) – unless you are making a Rose, in which case certain red grapes (Trepat, and Garnacha as with this wine) are permitted

NV Vinos de Terrunos German Gilabert Penedès Brut Nature Rosat

My tasting notes follow:

Crimson red color with a frothy mousse showing tiny dispersed bubbles with yeast and red fruit aromas. On the palate, it’s dry owing to zero dosage (no added sugar) with fresh cherry, raspberry, and a hint of mineral flavors. Aged ten months on the lees. Super Value at $12!  Highly Recommended – I’ll be buying this one again!

Pair with: The beauty of sparkling wines is their versatility with food, because of their palate cleansing quality (think scrubbing bubbles;-). I think this one was pleasant as a sipper, but it’s very food friendly.  It has enough  body to pair with Paella, spicy Chinese, Thai, and pizza.

Where it’s from: SpainCatalunyaPenedès

The grape(s) Trepat, and Garnacha (Grenache).

Production method: Traditional Method 

Alcohol: 11.5.%

Dosage: Brut Zéro/Brut Nature (0-3 grams of sugar per liter)

Retail: $12

Serve At: 43°-50° F