Walking into a Cava producer’s cellar can be an overwhelming experience. What appears to be miles of bottles stacked and laid out before you, aging away to create the delicious bubbles that we all love, seem to tease you, begging for you to reach out and pop one open. Most of the time, this as far as you get. You’re simply left to listen to the producer speak of each bottle’s rarity, as your mind attempts to grasp the enormity of it all.
Recently we were commissioned for an article about Cava vineyards, and this led us to a very unique experience. While exploring single vineyard Cavas, we visited the cellars of Recaredo in Sant Sarduni d’Anoia. Recaredo is a winery with the long history, gorgeous cellar and strong Catalan heritage, and more importantly, one of the few Cava cellars producing a single vineyard cava; in this case, a 100% old vine Xarel.lo from the vineyard Turo d’en Mota. The wine takes the name of the vineyard and in this case is aged for a minimum of 10 years in bottle.
During our visit in the depths of their cellar, we were invited to taste a vintage 2000 sample. Standing on their corked tops, upside down, the sign above the bottles declared that 280 remained, soon to be 279. All of Recaredo’s wines are unique for a few reasons. First, none of their wines use crown caps for the aging in bottle. They use corks, secured with a simple metal stable. Additionally, many of their wines inlcuding Turo d’en Mota do not add a dosage after the disgorging; they simply top up with wine from another bottle. This makes “brut nature” or “zero dosage” wines their focus.
Luckily on our visit we had the rare opportunity to taste a Cava before it was to be recorked, with the yeast removed. I’m including a short movie of the process, though I have to say it happens so fast that there is not much to see. That said, when it’s finally opened, you know right away there is something special inside. Most Cava will present a solid stable experience. Even at the higher end, the quality is consistent, and with a few exceptions, stays about the same throughout the enjoyment of the wine. With this recently disgorged treat, the wine started as one thing, and as we sipped it over the next half hour, it developed and took on a life of its own. From muted soft flavors, it showed more and more of its yeasty nature, as a result of its long stay on lees, which eventually gave way to baked lemon notes and other fragrant fruits.
The experience was a great look at Cava. After tasting through their portfolio of wines, I can’t honestly say that the “single vineyard” idea yields any better than a “traditional” Cava. However, when you make a wine your “crown jewel”, you tend to take more time with it; and consequently, it becomes a better wine. I will say this, Turo d’en Mota is worth the price paid, at least when compared with equivalent pricing of sparkling wines from other countries. It’s a beautiful Cava and worth experiencing.