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The Spanish Cava that Saved the Party

It seemed like a good idea at the time. My local wine seller said Emeri Sparkling Sauvignon Blanc was “a guaranteed crowd-pleaser” from down under and some non wine geeks were coming over for dinner. A “sparking savvie” seemed a bit weird, but less strange than the same vintner´s 100% Syrah red sparkler which and was not bad at all. And I’m a big sauvignon blanc fan. And some interesting stuff is coming from Australia. I was intrigued. How bad could it be?

I found out. The guests arrived, and with the usual weekend pomp, we popped cork and we gave it a taste. Was it my imagination or did all conversation stop? Now, I like almost all wine, but I couldn’t get through a glass of this stuff. Cloying: pure 7-UP: yukkie. Since I bought it, I figured I had the right to a theatrical critique. I headed for the kitchen sink and dumped. This was no way to start a little dinner party. I feared the worst.

Luckily someone had picked up an Albet i Noya, Brut Reserva and it was waiting in the frig. So when a critical mass of guests had politely made their way through their glass (or followed me to the sink), I wasted no time. Now, this sparkler was more like it; the real thing. Was it my imagination or did the conversation pick up? The party was back on track and from then on all was smooth sailing.

The next day I wondered if all this might not be just another example of good vibes (and my sense of relief) influencing the taste buds. And, in any case, I definitely owed Albet i Noya one.

So I bought another bottle and two of us sat down to a more cold-blooded tasting. This cava passed with flying colors. It was fresh and citrusy with orange and lemon on the nose. It had a beautifully balanced mouth with nice acidity and a smooth creamy mousse, possibly due to the 20% Chardonnay that is blended along with the usual Macabeu, Parrellada, Xarel-leo. Now at 18 bucks a bottle this Brut Reserva is not a bargain-bin special kind of cava. But for me, it was money well spent. So, here’s to you, Albet i Noya!

Albet i Noya is a “certified organic estate” located a short drive from Barcelona near Subirats, Catalunya, Spain. To learn more check out the Albet i Noya website and let us know in the comments if you’ve had a wine save the day! :)

Cheers,

Michael Oudyn

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  • nicois

    I smell a rat here!!
    You are capable of describing a cava as " fresh and citrusy with orange and lemon on the nose. It had a beautifully balanced mouth with nice acidity and a smooth creamy mousse, possibly due to the 20% Chardonnay that is blended along with the usual Macabeu, Parrellada, Xarel-leo. Now at 18 bucks a bottle this Brut Reserva is not a bargain-bin special kind of cava. But for me, it was money well spent" ……. how can you be the same person who lets yourself be talked into a sparkling Sauvignon blanc from down under which you had not tried!!!!!! Do you work for the Cava company?

    P.S. I love Cava… it doesn't need this sort of disingenuous promotion…… its quality will show through.
    Just because a winemaker can makea sparkling wine it does not mean it is any good. Trust your palate……. not a wine sales person who pushes dodgy concoctions…or get a new wine merchant,

  • http://intensedebate.com/people/ryan7968 ryan opaz

    Not sure where you smell the rat? I think any wine geek can be talked into a sparkling sauv blanc, I know I would be. I can assure you that Michael does not work for Albet i Noya, but rather had a fun experience finding that the Cava he had saved the day. Albet i Noya are well respected here and need no help promoting their wines.

    Your absolutely correct when you say "Just because a winemaker can makea sparkling wine it does not mean it is any good. Trust your palate……. not a wine sales person who pushes dodgy concoctions" But being a lover of wine I know I always seek out new and unknown wines…

    In fact I've had a few Sauvignon Blanc sparklers when I used to sell wine…need to do some research find out what they were.

  • http://intensedebate.com/profiles/oudyn oudyn

    As the writer of the post I thought I should second what Ryan said. I thought this the little anecdote would be fun to relate and wondered if things like this happen to other people.

    As far as getting talked into trying new and unknown wines I personally am a real pushover, and the stranger they sound the better. Curiosity can get you some real lemons (like this sauvignon sparkler), but these wine disasters can be great fun to relate. And you often find some real interesting stuff.

    As far as being on the payroll of Albet i Noya, forget it. I´ve never even visited the place or talked to anyone there, although I´d love to. But I do like their wines. Anyway give this cava a try. I´d love to know what you think of it.